Advancing a Free Society

Obama’s Unspoken Re-Election Edge

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Many of the Republican presidential hopefuls should be able to beat President Obama in 2012. This president has a track record now and, thus, many vulnerabilities. If he is not our "worst president," as Donald Trump would have it, his sweeping domestic initiatives—especially his stimulus package and health-care reform—were so jerry-built and high-handed that they generated a virtual revolution in America's normally subdued middle class.

The president's success in having Osama bin Laden killed is an exception to a pattern of excruciatingly humble and hesitant leadership abroad. Mr. Obama has been deeply ambivalent about the application of American power, as if a shameful "neocolonialism" attends every U.S. action in the world. In Libya he seems actually to want American power to diminish altogether.

This formula of shrinking American power abroad while expanding government power at home confuses and disappoints many Americans. Before bin Laden, 69% of Americans believed the country was on the wrong track, according to an Ipsos survey. A recent Zogby poll found that only 38% of respondents believed Mr. Obama deserved a second term, while 55% said they wanted someone new.

Continue reading Shelby Steele’s Wall Street Journal op-ed…