I wear two hats. One is the Vice Presidential nominee of the Libertarian Party. The other is as a political pundit, analyst and oddsmaker. In that second role, I can state unequivocally that Barack Obama has suffered one of the (if not the) worst months in modern political history. It can only be described as a disaster for Democrats. Obama has gone from prohibitive favorite to underdog in the blink of an eye. It now appears the shoot-ourselves-in-the-foot Democrats have managed to pick the one candidate who could possibly find a way to lose to John McCain.
A big part of Obama's disastrous plunge in the polls was his response (or lack of a response) to the energy crisis. Obama and his Democratic co-horts (led by Nancy Pelosi) refused to acknowledge that tough situations call for a change in tactics- in this case the acknowledgement that the American people demanded immediate action to lower pump prices and limit our dependence on foreign oil. McCain seized the issue and the momentum by supporting offshore drilling. Obama (and House Speaker Pelosi) looked weak, indecisive and uncaring about the pain being felt by Americans. Worse, they appeared beholden to a radical out-of-touch environmentalist lobby.
Another big part in this turnaround was Obama's triumphant trip to Germany. Americans don't care if 200,000 Germans love Obama- to the contrary; we tend to take that as a sign that a candidate is doing something wrong. Two hundred thousand screaming, cheering Germans may scare France into surrendering, but it makes Americans angry, nervous and suspicious. We want a candidate who understands that he's running for President of the United States, not Chancellor of Germany.
The third issue that contributed to the swift downfall of Obama was the economy- Obama talked nonstop about "change" for months with no debate, no discourse, no challenge. Of course not- he was in the middle of a Democrat primary filled with liberals all agreeing to dramatically increase taxes on successful Americans. Not much opposition to be found there. Now that he's in a real race, facing real opposition, it has become obvious that the kind of "change" Obama is referring to is a throwback to old-school, tax-and-spend, soak-the-rich, redistribute-the- wealth Democrats like George McGovern, Michael Dukakis, Walter Mondale and Jimmy Carter. Under scrutiny, it turns out that the "great uniter" actually has the most liberal voting record in the entire United States Senate. The light bulb finally went off for many Americans about what Obama means when he talks about â€œchangeâ€�- Socialists like Obama not only want all of our income, now he wants our change too!
Then came perhaps Obama's biggest mistake of all- his choice for Vice President. Well picking Hillary Clinton as his V.P. would certainly have defined "change." Obama would have made a bold statement- not only by picking a woman, but a woman who garned 18,000,000 primary votes. A woman who stood toe-to-toe with Obama, and gave him everything he could handle- and then some. What an electrifying choice! In one swoop, Obama would have energized the Democratic base; excited millions of female voters; united Hillary's skeptical supporters; and proved he was the leader of a bold new generation. Obama/Clinton was the opportunity to create a once in a lifetime "Dream Team."
Instead Obama proved that he is in fact the 21st century McGovern- ultra-liberal, indecisive, and able to snatch defeat from the jaws of certain victory. Did Obama really announce Joe Biden as his V.P.? Joe who? From Dela-where? Is it possible that the man who claims to represent change picked a 35 year United States Senator? A member of the ultra-establishment "Beltway Insiders" boys club for the past 35 years? The same Joe Biden who has been in office longer than half of all Americans have been alive? The same Biden who voted for the Iraq War? The same Biden who complimented Obama by describing him as "clean" earlier in the primaries? The same Biden who stated in a Democratic debate that Obama was inexperienced and not ready to serve? The same Biden who said in response to a tough reporter's question, "My I.Q. is higher than yours"? The same Biden who claimed to have earned three college degrees, but in fact only earned two? The same Biden who claimed to have gotten a full scholarship through law school, when in fact he didn't?
Could it possibly be the same Biden that was forced out of the Presidential race in '87 because he PLAGIARIZED speeches? Just what we need in America- another thief in politics. Is it possible that Obama's advisors are too young to know that Biden plagiarized speeches in '87? This is Obama's version of change? Well a Vice Presidential candidate who admits stealing speeches from others is definitely a change. What's the new Democrat Slogan? â€œWe'll either bring you change- or steal it from others.â€�
Obama can't be too proud of his pick either. He announced it on a Saturday. Strange. Mysterious. Inexplicable. I've been in the media business my entire life. Nothing of any importance is ever announced on a weekend. EVER. Unless it's bad or embarrassing news- and you don't want the media to notice. Good news, groundbreaking news, or exciting news gets announced on a Monday. If Biden was "Saturday news" what does that say about Obama's faith in Biden?
This country is desperately looking for change. Polls prove that almost 80% of the electorate thinks America is headed in the wrong direction. Neither McCain nor Obama will change that direction. A vote for McCain is a vote for 4 more years of Bush. That means dramatic expansion of government; more violations of our rights and personal freedoms; and endless wars across the globe. But a vote for Obama is a vote for 4 years of Karl Marx- even bigger government, endless tax increases, and the largest redistribution of wealth ever. Neither of those is the change the American people are looking for. Only a vote for the Libertarian Ticket of Barr/Root can bring true change- dramatic cuts in government, lower spending, lower taxes, more freedom, more power to the people. Only a vote for Barr/Root brings both economic freedom and personal freedom. And as a bonus- no plagiarism.
Wayne Root is the Libertarian Vice Presidential nominee on the Libertarian Presidential ticket of Bob Barr/Wayne Root. His web site is: www.ROOTforAmerica.com.