obama yesterday announced the beginning of his 2012 campaign for reelection. obama said, "I'm going to need you even more this time than last time." yes, yes he will, though i'm not certain he will get that help. i'm not sure he'll be supported with the same enthusiasm as three years ago.
the new york times reports that "aids said they were eager to reach out to independent voters before republicans do." but this may be part of the problem. obama's moderate, neutral position has made him look a little ineffective. barak obama has been an accomplished president, especially considering the situation in which he found the country upon occupying the white house. i think he has supported historically important legislation such as the credit and banking reform bills, the TARP fund, the repeal of dadt; he has guided our miliary through the iraq and afghanistan wars while keeping exit a lodestar, no matter how dim, for our actions in those countries; he has been a figure of inspiration to the country and the world as a black american with a modest background and a name unusual to american politicals who nevertheless has made his way successfully in the world. barak obama will be remembered as significant to american history.
but at the same time, when they elected obama as president, americans were hoping to see a great transformation take place in this country. those who voted for obama, liberal, conservative, radical, independent, however, hoped to see pragmatic change, not the tepid, timid suggestions and support obama has this far put forward. his efforts have seemed half-hearted. this country wanted fireworks and got instead a few hopeful shots in the dark. so yes, obama does need the independent vote to gain reelction, as any president does, but he may need much more. he may have needed to do much more to rally the democratic base as he did previously.
during the last election it was independent voters who won him the election, but it was the truly liberal voters, the loyal democrats who found themselves charmed and energized and hopeful for the potential of this man; these were they who found themselves motivated to campaign, to give money, to canvas, to run voter registration drives, to care enough just to vote resulting in largest voter turnout in this country in decades.
the new york times reports that "the president's aides have set a goal of surpassing the $750 million he raised in 2008." i groan thinking about giving money to obama's campaign, about caring enough. do i want to see a republican win? absolutely not. but neither am i excited about another luke-warm second term for the obama administration. and if i'm already this unmotivated, unexcited by the beginning of the campaign season (election years are generally my favorite), how can i expect the rest of the democratic party to significantly rally, especially those young, idealistic young voters who came out in large numbers last election?