09.12.2012 0

Sick of the presidential campaign? You are not alone!

2012 ElectionsBy Rick Manning — “I know who I am voting for, and I wish all this nonsense would just be done.”

That’s what a friend said to me at church on Sunday, and somehow I suspect he is not alone.  The never ending campaign for president is finally heading into its home stretch, with Obama and Romney running neck and neck.

It should be a time when the political party conventions were watched by voters with eager enthusiasm, yet the Republican convention speech by Romney fell 23 percent from the acceptance speech by Senator John McCain four years earlier.

For his part, the eagerly awaited speech by VP nominee Paul Ryan drew a 41 percent smaller audience than the blockbuster speech that introduced America to Sarah Palin in 2008.

While the Democrats also had a small ratings dip, their convention in Charlotte, North Carolina drew larger television audiences than their Republican counterparts.

Some people are attempting to attribute the relative decline in the RNC ratings versus the DNC ones to a continuing popularity of Obama.  However, I think my friend hit upon the real issue – he just wants the whole thing over with.

There is no doubt that Romney is not a base-inspiring candidate and that much of the enthusiasm gap that Republicans enjoy is due to a desire to end the descent of America that is occurring under Obama.

In fact, just as Obama was the driver of voter turnout in 2008, he is the primary reason why Republican turnout will be dramatically higher in 2012.  A conservative electorate was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt after being disillusioned by the big spending Republican Congress that was replaced in 2006, capped by the bailouts that marked the end of Bush’ second term.

It was the bailouts, which both Obama and McCain supported, that took the wind out of the Republican candidate’s sails, making it impossible for McCain, the supposed “small” government ballot entry to differentiate between himself and his significantly more liberal opponent.

Today, voters who have decided to vote against Obama are largely disconnected from investing their hopes and dreams in Romney’s vision, but instead just know viscerally that the mistake that was made in 2008 must be corrected or else the nation may never recover.

Coming out of the conventions, it appears that Obama picked up a one percent of the vote advantage over Romney.  With breathlessly hyped debates upcoming along with hundreds of millions of dollars of advertising still to be aired, it is doubtful that by election day, few outside of Washington, D.C. will be able to name where the two respective conventions were held, let alone anything else about them.

For those who have been paying attention, the next few weeks may seem to be excruciatingly long.  Just remember, this time isn’t for you.  It is for the ten percent who will vote, but pay little to no attention to politics in the intervening three years and ten months.

So expect the most insipid, outrageous attacks from the Obama campaign in an attempt to make the case that he should not be fired, because the guy who would replace him is irresponsible, uncaring and unsympathetic.

And that is Obama’s problem, he cannot run on his record.  The DNC convention proved that when he tries even the media that is in his pocket gets its conscience tweaked and reports that his claims of success are shamelessly false.

This leaves Obama with only the hope that he can win by taking down Romney using whatever means are at his disposal.  Winning through sufficiently denigrating his opponent and causing America to hold their collective noses and vote to give him another chance.  A far cry from his idealistic appeal of 2008.

The prospect is enough to make me join my friend and cry out in a Seinfeldian chant, “Serenity Now, Serenity Now.”

Rick Manning is the Director of Communications for Americans for Limited Government.

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