President Obama laid out his plans for troop draw down from Afghanistan. At least he is cognizant of the fact that 2012 re election bid is fast approaching. He will be on the campaign trail soon, behind the podiums, talking to a whole lot of Americans.
It is no surprise, that his approval ratings took a plunge again, right after the OBL episode. The fact remains that generally people are a bit disappointed with the first term. The troop withdrawal was one of his 2008 campaign items and it is wise of him to follow through.
The Obama administration can definitely take credit for OBL elimination and some other stalwarts of the Jihadi side, in and around Pakistan. It is true that, Pakistan has taken a lot of heat right after May 02. The other fact that Afghanistan is one heck of a monster is perhaps well known to his policy gurus. When all the American troops depart, there is a strong possibility of the resurgence of not so America friendly, non state actors.
The country is big and political leadership not as strong as US may assume, it might become. So as Americans, the engagement in Afghanistan may still be on going. Otherwise, it will be the same scenario of 80′s and later down the road, it will be pinned as a poor policy decision of the current administration.
The people have short term memories. They tend to conveniently forget that it was not the Obama administration, who went for an all out war in Afghanistan. The President inherited the war and he was cautiously treading on that path. The most important factor that remains a bit in fog is, what policy the President intends to follow in Pakistan. Whether that policy will be effective Pakistan or not is a multi million dollar question. The solution for long term stability in the entire region depends on Pakistan.
Here at home, it is no surprise that voters are suffering. All the moves to salvage the ailing economy have yielded not so positive results. America is bruised and battered heavily from the housing turmoil. Until or unless the housing and lending markets get back to a level of growth, we will see the same dismal growth and stagnant job creation. The economic advisors are perhaps shaking their heads in disbelief. The data and the numbers trickling down, do not mean much, when public sentiments are to the contrary.
The key word for President’s 2012 campaign should be UNITE. It is time to unite the divided America. The America of have’s and have nots. The America of rich and poor, White and Black and the others, the America of hopeful and hopeless.
The HOPE and CHANGE mantra that brought President Obama to the oval office in 2008 may not work this time around. Let’s face it HOPE has dwindled and CHANGE has been rather slow. The renewal of Obama spirit of 2008 needs a newer and fresher approach. The HOPE re ignites, when pockets are full and CHANGE tends to find its way, with extra change in the pocket to spend. To win in 2012, you have to make the electorate hopeful and optimistic about their pockets. Are the 2012 campaign advisors listening?