Mark Landsbaum, columnist for the Orange County Register:
If people give Obama the benefit of the doubt, yet recognize things have gotten worse, how deep do we dig this hole?
To gamble on four more years that could get worse sounds risky. While people are drowning around him, the president tosses them anchors instead of life jackets: More debt, bigger government sucking the sustenance out of the economy, more entitlements siphoning capital out of private hands, more tax-subsidized Utopian schemes at the expense of what actually works.
Four more years of this? Really?
Clive Crook at the Atlantic:
One other thing hurts the president's campaign, though perhaps it's too obvious to mention: diminishing returns. I'm not sure Obama's speech was actually as weak and boring as it seemed. There were plenty of good lines. (And the "take two tax cuts" bit was excellent. I laughed.) It's just that we've heard it all before. The rhetorical tricks -- the catch in the voice, the seductive cadences--are no longer so thrilling. Coming from an incumbent unwilling to defend his record and unable to lay out a detailed policy agenda, they're starting to annoy.
Steve Huntley, Chicago Sun Times:
Hope needs more time. That was President Barack Obama’s message in his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention Thursday night. But a country that was forced to live on hope for four years and rewarded with dreary unemployment, falling middle class income and depressed home values may not be ready for another dose of lofty national goals based on nothing more than oratory.
One million new manufacturing jobs, 600,000 natural gas jobs, 100,000 math and science teachers. Oil imports cut in half, exports doubled. Cut the growth in college tuition in half and reduce the deficit by more than $4 trillion over a decade.
These were among the goals enunciated by Obama and cheered by enthralled Democrats. But millions of Americans weary of the Obama economy may have heard echoes of past Obama goals — pass my $830 billion stimulus and unemployment won’t go over 8 percent, I’ll cut the deficit in half by the end of my first term, I’ll pass immigration reform in the first year of my administration, Solyndra is America’s energy future.
The payoff: 42 months of joblessness above 8 percent, deficits soaring to a trillion-dollars a year sending the national debt to $16 trillion, immigration reform gone with Obama’s words, Solyndra a bankrupt failure costing the taxpayers half a billion dollars.
“I won’t pretend the path I’m offering is quick and easy. I never have,” Obama thundered to adoring Democrats in Charlotte. Maybe, but he’s never flinched from offering grandiose ambitions. On winning the 2008 Democratic primaries, Obama declared our children would remember that “this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.”