Barack Obama faces his biggest race

Think about it. Are you better off now than you were four years ago?

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By Dominique Franklin / Staff Writer

(Illustration by Dylan Slusser)

By Dominique Franklin / Staff Writer

Think about it. Are you better off now than you were four years ago?

As the 2012 election approaches, the state of the economy begins to take hold as an issue in re-electing President Obama.

The president understands that an unemployment rate of over nine percent does not favor his odds of a second term.

In an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, the president admitted the lack of improvement.

He did, however, manage to link it to the financial meltdown before he was elected to office.

“They’re not better off than they were when Lehman collapsed, before the financial crisis, before this extraordinary recession,” Obama said.

However, the sound bite that will remain the most significant is that “Americans are not better off.”

Sure enough, his Republican challengers took notice of this statement and immediately began running ads containing the clip.

By using this sound bite, it’s easy to make it seem as if even the president believes that Americans could be better off without him.

Despite Obama’s continued attempts to link the financial crisis of today to mistakes of the previous administration, Americans still hold him accountable.

His approval ratings have slipped to the lowest of his presidency, to the 40 percent range while only 45 percent of Americans believe that Obama will win a second term.

These new percentages did not slip the president’s mind. He acknowledges that he is the underdog.

In the interview, Obama took a moment to give more attention to his American Jobs Act, which is continuing to gain public support.

The bill is essentially a stimulus that focuses on teachers and schools, returning military personnel, and the country’s infrastructure.

Many believe that this bill may be what helps Obama in the long run, and hurts Republican candidates because of their refusal to pass it.

Even still, the bill is a bill. It hasn’t been passed yet. Therefore, the unemployment rate has remained largely unaffected.

Although President Obama claims that his administration helped to stabilize the economy, most Americans haven’t noticed anything other than the lack of employment opportunities.

Historically, presidents that have taken office during bad economies rarely win re-elections, a lesson that President Obama has not failed to notice.

For the president to win this election, it’s going to take more than raising more campaign money than his Republican contenders.

He’s going to have to push his own initiative in order to show the American people that he can continue to lead the nation to a brighter future.

The American public once again can see the fighter that was seen during the 2008 campaign.

 President Obama, in a sense, has gotten that fire back in his eye, and you can see it during his campaign as he continues to promote the American Jobs Act.

This was the fight that should have never left the president’s eye to begin with.

The persistence he now has to get this bill passed is one he should have had from the beginning. If he continued to fight for the American people, many would believe in him still, despite a still very unsure economy.

Yet as it stands now, the president is fighting not just with Republicans, but an uphill battle against America. He does share one similar advantage though, in that Republicans aren’t very favorable right now either.

However, when the economy is bad, Americans generally vote for an overall change.

Unless Obama is able to turn this economy around in about 13 months, the person sitting in the Oval Office will be the one to change.

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