Why is Obama seeking re-election?
ONE year ago, President Obama knew the economy would remain lousy for some time to come, despite a trillion dollars in stimulus money (counting the cutting of payroll taxes in 2011 and 2012).
The president also knew the federal budget was hopelessly out of balance and its trillion-dollar-a-year deficits are unsustainable.
He also knew that despite the Navy SEALs killing Osama bin Laden, his foreign policy is in shambles as Iran continues merrily building a nuclear bomb and the Muslim Brotherhood is taking over Arabia.
Most Americans hate Obamacare. I cannot recall a president who was re-elected despite widespread hatred of the centerpiece of his agenda.
Instead of bowing out gracefully and letting his party pick someone else, Obama is running the most embarrassing re-election campaign I can remember.
He has no record. He has no vision of the future. All he has is vitriol.
Yet the experts in the national press believe he will win. Poll analyst Nate Silver of the New York Times gives Obama a 75 percent chance of winning.
I do not buy that. Nor does Obama, judging by the mean, nasty and petty campaign he has run.
His surrogates have made personal attacks on Mitt Romney, which include:
Instead of touting his record and his ideas, Obama spent millions spent on ads that cast Romney in a bad light.
The first debate negated all that time and money spent trashing Romney.
Romney came off as the cool, calm CEO who was in charge, while Obama seemed more like the disinterested dandy who inherited the factory.
Peggy Noonan of the Wall Street Journal said that debate opened many eyes.
"Why was the first debate so toxic for the president? Because the one thing he couldn't do if he was going to win the election is let all the pent-up resentment toward him erupt," she wrote.
But that is what he did.
"Petulant, put upon, above it all, full of himself," Noonan wrote. "He couldn't afford to make himself look less impressive than the challenger in terms of command, grasp of facts, size."
The odd thing was, Obama thought he won the debate. Informed he had indeed lost, Obama broke out the sarcasm on the campaign trail the next day.
"Thank God someone is getting tough on Big Bird . . . we didn't know Big Bird was driving the deficit," Obama said.
Polls be darned, I do not think Americans want a sneering, sarcastic president.
Indeed, he has gone from a double-digit lead in likeability to being a few points behind Romney.
Obama has become toxic in some quarters.
Many newspapers that embraced his candidacy last time - he racked up 296 endorsements to 180 for John McCain - are either switching sides or not endorsing.
As of Saturday, Romney had 112 endorsements, Obama 84.
The Des Moines Register, which had not endorsed a Republican for president in 40 years, now backs Romney.
I could nitpick his campaign all day, but the biggest campaign mistake Obama made was in having a campaign to begin with.
He should have stepped aside and let Hillary Clinton run.
Obama has nothing to offer but four more years of ugly partisanship, division and ridicule of those who dare to disagree with him.
No matter what the polls say today, I do not see a majority of American voters approving that message on Tuesday.
Surber may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.