President Barack Obama doesn’t deserve to win re-election. Don’t get me wrong, I will vote for him and he will win…but that doesn’t mean his administration deserves it. It’s not because of the disappointing state of the economy…or because of that weak and unpopular health care reform that was narrowly passed…or because of the poor communication skills he has with the American people.

The Obama administration doesn’t deserve a second term because the President just isn’t very good at politics, the one skill essential for any leader. What Obama IS good at, on the other hand, is CAMPAIGNING.

This election term, the Obama campaign has masterfully utilized Demographic Campaigning to build an electorate advantage amongst key groups while simultaneously energizing their base group of supporters. Women, Gays, Hispanics, Auto Workers, Elderly Medicare Recipients…They’ve all been aggressively campaigned to for their vote.

However, NOT ONCE has the first African-American President of the United States campaigned specifically to African-Americans. He doesn’t talk to those negroes because he knows he already has them. It would be a waste of breath since polls show that Governor Mitt Romney is getting 0% of the Black Vote. This is micro-target campaigning at its finest.

Unfortunately, a great campaign strategy does not make for a great presidency. Granted Obama has made some notable achievements during his first term. When one looks deeper, however, we see that his presidency is much ado about nothing.


Flashback to the euphoria of 2008 where we saw a one-term Junior Senator run a historic modern campaign to become the first African-American President of the United States. Admittedly, even a cynic like me got caught up in the hype briefly as I watched then-Senator Obama deliver a moving and memorable Convention speech. It was then that I decided to give the man my vote (I’m an independent so the Democrat was not an automatic choice for me).

All the while, I consistently told people, “Don’t expect miracles, he’s still a Politician when it’s all said and done.” Sure enough, many people have been scratching their heads over some of the President’s actions and inaction. The Hope and Change that was eloquently preached in stump speeches all over the country never really materialized. Many of us that actually follow politics watched in horror as Obama became of a protector of big banks, an excessive swiper with the Government’s credit card and an assassin of foreign brown people via secret drone attacks. The country became divided as the high of the 2008 campaign fizzled. Even through all of this, I didn’t feel like I wasted my vote. I like the President and I’m proud that he’s representing us to the rest of the world. However, that doesn’t mean that he gets a pass on all that’s frustrating about him.


The knee-jerk response by many liberals is to state that the President faced the most obstructionist congress in all of history. This is partly true, the republicans in the House racked up a record number of filibusters, halting pretty much anything the President tried to pass (including ideas with GOP origins). They argue that politicians on the other side of the aisle have been working to boot the President out of office since the day of his inauguration. The problem with these arguments is that it happens every four years, on both sides. It’s the other side’s job to make things as difficult as possible for the opposition party so that they can get their turn at bat. Can you blame the Republicans for being better at the game of Politics this season?

Fast-Forward to today, the President is proving to be just as skilled a campaigner. Watching him on the stump and at the convention this year, you can see the joy on his face. This is what he likes to do…He likes to win…and he’s good at it. He’s an actor that KILLS in his auditions but leaves the director wondering why he’s not giving that same strong performance after being cast in the role.


Ask anyone in business or a leadership position and they’ll tell you that the key to their job is mastering the game of politics. Everyone can’t get what they want so one has to be able to negotiate to find a middle ground. When that compromise can’t be found through traditional means, a leader uses political capital like currency, trading with individuals to secure just enough of a consensus to push through the final deal or contract. “I’ll give you this thing you want if you sign off on this thing that I want.” This all applies to the Government as well.

President Obama spent nearly all of the political capital he had obtained after the election on Health Care and Stimulus plans (remember Cash for Clunkers?) that fed into the Tea Party’s narrative about an overly expanding Government. Obama and his administration’s lack of political skill is demonstrated even further in journalist Bob Woodward’s book “Price of Politics” where he details the negotiations to reach a “grand bargain” during the debt ceiling debacle in the summer of 2011.

It’s not too late for the President. When (not if) he wins a second term, he can use his new political capital more wisely to build partnerships on both sides of the aisle. This progress will not only help his legacy as President, but also the American People.

– Nick D