President Obama did voters a favor. During the 2008 campaign and early in his administration, he laid out the standards by which he should be judged. He made it perfectly clear under what conditions he would deserve re-election.
And by his own standard he doesn’t deserve a second term.
In February 2009, when employment was at 8.2 percent, he declared, “If I don’t get this done in three years, then this is going to be a one term proposition.”
Unemployment has yet to return to February 2009 levels, much less fall lower. Based on that standard alone, this should indeed be a “one term proposition.”
But consider the President’s other promises and self-imposed standards.
On the stimulus: He predicted unemployment below 8 percent. Today: We’re not even close.
On Obamacare: He promised accessibility and affordability. Today: Prices continue to skyrocket and many Americans have discovered they cannot keep their current plan.
On the deficit: He promised to cut it in half by the end of his first term. Today: He produced three years of record budget deficits, exceeding $1 trillion each.
On the debt: He promised to slow its growth. Today: He accelerated it and it has now surpassed $15 trillion.
On ethics: He promised the most transparent administration in history. Today: The administration has been caught gambling taxpayer money on failed investments like Solyndra for political purposes.
On lobbyists: He promised there would be no lobbyists in his administration and no lobbyist money in his campaign coffers. Today: He has gladly welcomed both.
He promised a thriving economy. It’s stalled.
He promised change. We have gotten more of the same.
He promised to unite us. We’re divided.
He has so little to run on, Democrats have resorted to pathetically arguing that “it could’ve been worse.”
In 2012, Republicans will hold the president accountable. He laid out the terms on which he wanted to be judged. And we’re happy to accept those terms.
It’s not our standard. It’s not a partisan standard. It’s the President’s standard. Let’s hold him to it.
There are no words more damaging to Obama’s re-election prospects than his own. That makes our messaging strategy quite straightforward: Repeat those words—his broken promises—as often as possible.