Obama Cites "Revenge" As Key Motivator for Voters
Is there anybody out there not completely exhausted from the presidential campaign?The presidential campaign that has seemed like it would never end will in just 48 short hours (or is that 48 long hours?).
Near the finish line now, challenger Mitt Romney and incumbent President Barack Obama are on their last hurrah mission for votes in key swing states attempting one last round of motivational speeches on an exhausted electorate.
Former governor Romney had a unique message for New Hampshire voters by condemning Obama for ordering his campaign supporters to vote for him as their "best revenge."
"Vote for revenge?" was Romney's retort. The tone was that of man incredulous over some idiotic statement. He said, "Let me tell you what I'd like to tell you: Vote for love of country. It is time we lead America to a better place."
Could his answer have been any different whatever your politics are?
It stands to reason that whatever your motivations are in this election, the last reason to vote for anybody is revenge. Nearly 26 million Americans already have cast ballots in early voting around the country. On the last day of early voting in Florida (even though some anxious Democrats wanted Sunday to be a voting day also), voters at some sites in Miami-Dade and Broward counties were waiting up to four hours to cast ballots.
Posing for photo-ops on Saturday, President Obama had the opportunity to look presidential for the first time since the opening debate in early October as he pondered government disaster relief in response to super storm Sandy.
In predictable soundbites, the president said, "There's nothing more important than us getting this right," he responded to questions on the government's response with the memory of Hurricane Katrina still fresh in the media's memory. He briefly toured disaster sites before returning to what he is best at: campaigning and fundraisers.
The Obama team is planning a series of larger events this weekend aimed at drawing big crowds in battleground states. The audiences will be nowhere near the closing days of the 2008 race when rallies drew 50,000 or more.
This time around, the message is not "hope and change" apparently, but a more earthy tone - namely "revenge." No speeches are planned to discuss the virtues of his last four years, or a summary of his economic promises.
Speeches Encouraging Revenge
The speeches will encourage "revenge." On what "revenge" he is referring to, it will be left to the imagination of the listener.
For those who enjoy a tour down memory lane, the president will be accompanied on the "revenge tour" with the likes of such wax figures as Robert Gibbs, who served as Obama's first White House press secretary and Reggie Love, Obama's former personal aide and basketball hoop companion who abruptly left the White House earlier this year.
His schedule has been set, the ads have been placed and the message of "revenge" is the order of the day. All that will be missing is a few thousand torches and a rope to complete four years of "hope and change."
Quite a different finale from the last campaign. But a lot has happened in the last four years that no one could possibly envision that victorious night long ago in Grant Park singing "We shall overcome."
Is there even a song for this occasion called "Revenge?"
On the other side of this image is the Romney team. "It's been a long road," Ann Romney told reporters aboard the campaign plane. She has now joined her husband for the final days after over a month solo campaigning.
Romney drew a large crowd Friday in West Chester, Ohio and around 10,000 in Cincinnati that featured rock stars, sports celebrities and dozens of Republican officials. High energy, in an overly long campaign, on a cold night.
His usual "corny" message of America's hopes for the future and the promise of a brighter economy with more jobs for the downtrodden and weary. Then on to New Hampshire, Iowa, maybe one more shot at Pennsylvania and Colorado again? At this point of the campaign, does anyone really know where they are?
GOP running mate Paul Ryan has recently been to Ohio also and had a few words about Obama's "revenge" remark. "We don't believe in revenge; we believe in change and hope," he said, "We actually do."
Is anybody awake enough to notice?
Romney certainly has the tougher path. Win most of the nine most-contested states to reach 270 electoral votes: Ohio, Florida, Virginia, North Carolina, Colorado, Nevada, Wisconsin, Iowa and New Hampshire. Maybe add Pennsylvania to the mix, hoping to end a streak of five presidential contests where the Democratic candidate prevailed in the state.
Obama has a lead of sorts in most of these states, but not like his campaign four years ago against John McCain.
Rather, to put this contest in perspective, look to the Reagan v Carter election of 1980.
The incumbent, Carter, held a small lead in most polls with an adoring mainstream press in the fold. Reagan was faced with a similar task as Romney to capture key swing states.
He too carried a message of hope and change while Carter denounced Reagan as "an actor" and "warmonger," demonizing the man instead of extolling the virtues of his first term.
If I am here for "revenge," "revenge" for what?
How many Americans will enter the voting booth in 48 hours asking themselves this question: If I am here for "revenge," "revenge" for what?
Dwight L. Schwab Jr. is a moderate conservative who looks at all sides of a story, then speaks his mind. His BS in journalism from University of Oregon with minors in political science and American history stands him in good stead for his writing. Read more stories by Dwight L. Schwab Jr..
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