Obama faces a tough challenge ahead, which he acknowledged. Many Americans are dissatisfied with the slow pace of the “change we can believe in” he promised when he came to power, a recurring issue that seems to raise its ugly head after any politician’s term in power. However, Obama defended his policies, saying that the country had been slowly recovering from a deep recession and pledging more work for economic improvement if re-elected. He said that his Republican opponent would “turn back the clock,” positioning himself as the candidate that would continue to labour down the hard road to recovery. Politically, Obama has been unlucky enough to have to grapple with a Republican House of Representatives since the 2010 mid-terms, making the government seem slow and ineffective as gridlock occurred: the infamous debt-ceiling crisis has eroded public popularity for Obama, leading some to believe that the economic recovery Obama has presided over has been too slow to benefit the majority of Americans, and has done not enough to tackle America's massive debt (now standing at approximately $15 trillion).
In a sports arena, to some 14,000 loud and enthusiastic supporters, he declared:
“This is not just another election, this is a make or break moment for the middle class, and we have been through too much to turn back now.”
Multi-millionaire Mitt Romney, on the other hand, believes in a “smaller, smarter and simpler government”, as his campaign website says. He declared Obama’s time in office as a time of “broken promises and ineffective leadership”, proposing greater austerity measures and a return to, in his campaign’s words, a “deeply conservative return to policies that have served our nation well.” However, the businessman has been under heavy criticism in the mainstream media, the most well-known stories covering his religious and financial background. Obama stated that Romney had learned the “wrong lessons” when working as a CEO, trying to position himself on the side of the people against the image of Romney as a pro-business candidate for the rich: “Corporations aren’t people. People are people!” Obama exclaimed, making reference to an early quip by Romney that, “Corporations are people, my friend!”
This is ahead of the National Conventions: the Republican’s on the 27th August, in Florida, and the Democrat’s on the 3rd September, in North Carolina. This will then be followed up by an all-out battle until the general election on the 6th November. It is undeniable that this will be a close race: Obama will be able to awaken a lot of support with his charming charisma and his historical achievements in office, but many will also turn to the Republican Party, perceiving Obama’s presidency as a time of “broken promises and ineffective leadership.”