How different it all is now. For one thing, Obama now has a record — not a good or inspiring record, but we at last have something concrete to judge him by. We now know that about the only promise he has managed to keep is to make the price of energy “skyrocket.” Yes, he’s done that all right. Even as he refused the Keystone pipeline and drilling permissions around the country, the price of gasoline has gone from an average of $1.85 a gallon to something north of $4.00. He promised, if only we gave him the $780 billion “stimulus,” he would have unemployment down to 5.6 percent by 2012. Reality check: it’s about 8.3 percent. Twenty-three million people are unemployed or underemployed. He promised to halve the annual deficit in his first term; it’s still something like $1.4 trillion. The federal debt clock, in an occurrence of grim poetic justice, ticked over to $16 trillion as the Democratic National Convention convened in Charlotte earlier this month to nominate the most left-wing and stunningly incompetent president in our history to another term. (Remember when David Axelrod, in 2005, said that it was “madness” for Bush to add $3 trillion to the federal debt in four years? Obama managed to add more than $5 trillion in only three and a half years.)
Well, I went on like this for a while. I don’t know that I convinced anyone, though I do have a bet for lunch with one of the guests. I am even now deciding where I might like to be taken. Maybe, had the party been a few days later, I would have been more convincing. I just had confirmation of something I have long suspected: that only a small percentage of those canvassed by pollsters bother to respond. How small? Only 9 percent. I, and probably you, too, are part of the proud 91 percent who give them the brush off.
One of the morning papers today asks whether Mitt Romney can overcome his “slump” in the polls in the upcoming debates. A more pertinent question is whether Barack Obama can overcome his disastrous record on both domestic and foreign affairs by repeating his seductive clichés. I think the answer is no.