John Ransom

Democrat political consultant Robert Shrum tried paint Mitt Romney yesterday as another Thomas Dewey, who lost to Harry Truman in 1948 after being favored going into the fall.

In the Daily Beast, Shrum calls Romney “the little man on the wedding cake,” “stiff” and a few other things that look like a Hail Mary designed to paint Mitt as out of touch.

But more important than who is Thomas Dewey in 2012 is the question who, in this scenario, will play the part of the no-nonsense Truman in a “Dewey Defeats Truman” reprise.

Because it ain’t Obama.

Obama’s all nonsense all the time.       

The outlines of the Obama reelection strategy were clear back in October when I originally wrote that Obama was no Harry Truman

The campaign is trying to mirror Truman’s fighting tour against a “do nothing” Congress that is preventing the president from taking steps to rescue the US economy.

All that’s missing for Obama is a platform on the back of a high speed train from which he can harangue crowds. 

For a guy battered and bruised by Congress and demoralized by his base, Truman’s strategy offers a glimmer of hope.      

But don’t count on Americans to be gulled by Obama’s strategic argument with or without an assist by a magic bullet train. Obama’s no Harry Truman.  

People wanted to believe that Truman was the straight-talking, guy-next door. And he was.

But no one would mistake Obama as a straight talker.

Fast talker? Yes.

In point of fact, the biggest single obstacle that Obama faces in getting reelected is that Americans don’t trust him anymore. Nor should they, based on results, history and the false premise under which he was elected.

Wanna know what Obama’s going to do in the future? Look at what he’s done in the past.

He might be the only president in the history of the country to vote “present.”

People wanted to believe in the hope-and-change hype; they gave Obama every opportunity to live up to the promise of a post-racial America.  

dewey_defeats_truman

They gave him the Congress, they gave him the money. They gave him the time. They even gave him a Nobel Prize in anticipation of his great, healing accomplishments. But he fell far short of the braggadocios, walk-on-water, presidential campaign that practically amounted to a confidence swindle out of a Mark Twain story.

That’s why the harder Obama campaigns, the less likely people will rally to his support.

Faux outrage by Obama will only serve to highlight how Obama fumbled his opportunities to cut some Gordian knots, politically.

Here are ten other reasons Americans don’t trust Obama to save the economy:

10) People have seen the president as disengaged from his job as president. Now according to Ron Suskind’s book, we have proof that Obama really is disengaged.  

“His body language during these scenes is passive. He looks on and sits back as Summers, a master debater, hashes things out,” reports Bloomberg. “During one particularly acrimonious debate in March 2009, Obama leaves to get a haircut and have dinner with his family.”

9) Obama has no fixed principles on which the mass of Americans agree.

I can’t think of one policy the Obama administration has put forward which breaches the partisan divide.

8) The president comes across cocky, not confident on issues.

I think many voters have come to believe that they know more about economic issues than Obama does. And they would be right about that.

For a self-professed policy wonk, he sure seems to rely on advisors rather than his instincts. I think Americans suspect that the policy wonk talk is hyperbole designed to cover for his insecurity about his lack of knowledge.     

7) He seems to always be hostage to some special interest. Whether it’s healthcare, bank reform or stimulus spending, Obama comes across either as a dupe or a known associate of a partner in crime.

He either doesn’t understand the implications of his policies or he fully understands them.

Americans will pick which is worse as they sit in a voting booth.

6) Obama tends to “double down” on problems rather than recognize something isn’t working. For example, rather than taking care to act outraged over Solyndra, Obama rushed to approve even more loans to companies as the loan deadline expired.

This is not an administration that the public thinks is a very good steward of money. And once again, they’re right about that.

5) The economic plan he’s tried hasn’t worked. The only things he’s changed are the excuse he uses.

Remember when he stopped talking about creating jobs and started talking about saving jobs instead? Remember how he told us all the economy was recovering in the first half of the year?  

The American people will put up with sleight of mouth tricks like that for a bit, but will crucify you later for it. Read my lips, no new excuses.

4) Americans admire business success. That’s why we put guys like Warren Buffett and Bill Gates on such a pedestal and listen to them to the point of practically drooling over what they say.

Obama’s not promising the opportunity for unlimited success; instead he’s promising to everyone a limited type of security in lieu of success, which is alien to the American strive-and-succeed story.

3) The president’s base is hostile to the economic ideas that foster growth and reward merit, which are really the same thing.

The progressives believe in a top-down, centrally-planned economy with rewards doled out to favored groups based on a social outcome, rather than rewards based on economic merit.

Americans are sophisticated enough to understand that while a utility infielder may be overpaid at $1 million per year, that’s what the market will bear. They don’t necessarily begrudge the infielder his money. At the same time, they support a baseball owner’s right to make whatever profit he can.

This is the American way. Americans just want the right to be that infielder or major league owner based on merit.   

Another example would be the administration’s attempt to create an electric car market in the US. Policies supporting the electric car market with government-created artificial incentives end up as constraints on the economy rather than incentives in the economy.

Americans want that car, like a utility infielder, to succeed on merit. 

2) Obama won’t take responsibility for his failures.

It’s not just that he won’t take responsibility verbally. It’s that he won’t take responsibility policy-wise.

After enacting the stimulus plan that has contributed to the worst post-recession economic performance since the 1930s, Obama has back peddled.  But he’s also contributed nothing new to the debate besides trying to enact a smaller stimulus package.

Why would something that didn’t work previously work now because you are using a smaller version of it?

And lastly:

1) Obama lied about________________________________________ {fill in the blank and then report it to AttackWatch.com}.   


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John Ransom

John Ransom is the Finance Editor for Townhall Finance.