President Obama has a trait that Republicans should appreciate. He’s utterly transparent. His motives are anything but hidden. No matter what he says, it’s abundantly clear that he has one thing in mind these days: getting reelected.
Obama wasn’t so transparent when he first emerged as a prominent political figure with his speech at the 2004 Democratic national convention. In the 2008 campaign, he sought to transcend politics with his talk of hope and change and reforming the way Washington does business. Now he’s obsessed with politics—the politics of reelection—and not much else. Obama once fancied himself a uniter. For reelection purposes, he’s become a divider.
It’s true Obama isn’t the first president to tailor his policies to aid reelection. But no president since Richard Nixon has focused as single-mindedly and relentlessly on winning a second term as Obama.
Just last week, the Obama administration announced that states, not Washington, would decide the level of health care benefits required of insurers. This policy shift aims to take the edge off the single most unpopular issue of Obama’s presidency, the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare.
It sounds quite accommodating, except it can be instantly reversed if Obama is reelected. The same is true of the sidelining of tightened regulation of ozone emissions that the Environmental Protection Agency was preparing to promulgate. For the moment, the delay provides a talking point to combat the charge that Obama is bent on overregulation.
Then there’s the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada to refineries in Texas. It’s been studied and studied and determined environmentally safe by the State Department. Yet Obama has put off a final decision until 2013 on issuing a construction permit.