A reader doesn't think my recommendation for Obama will fly:
He can and he will, but not by swearing allegiance to Simpson-Bowles in his acceptance speech. I'd bet 80% of Americans have no idea what Simpson-Bowles is and it's far too complicated to explain in a speech that's supposed to inspire voters. Do you really believe the average American will sit still even for three minutes of talking about the tax code? People want to know what's going to create jobs and make them feel more economically secure. A plan cooked up by Congress that features large helpings of pain for the middle class (like eliminating the mortgage deduction) will sound like exactly the opposite to them.
I truly believe Obama plans, if he's re-elected, to make a real effort to reduce our long-term debt. But except for a tiny sliver of voters like you, that goal doesn't resonate with the country. It would be Eastwoodian political malpractice for Obama to use his acceptance speech to tell the country it'll have to take some very bitter medicine if he's re-elected.
Another is on the same page:
As much as I agree with you that we need Simpson Bowles style reform, and that Obama would go a long way to showing his seriousness as a leader, I don't think it helps him politically.
It wins over people like you and I. People obsessed with the ins and outs of policy and politics on a daily basis. Do you think that Obama can realistically utter the words "Second Stimulus" and win re-election? Have you looked at Simpson Bowles lately? It alters Social Security, Medicare, leaves the public option on the table, cuts money for students, from the military, etc. That kind of balanced approach is definitely what we need, but judging from the Republicans Medicare attacks, would they not bombard him with each of those cuts? Suddenly Obama wants to cut things that lots of people care about.
I hope you are just trying to help nudge the campaign in that direction and not really putting your hopes into this. I don't want to read you getting all butt-hurt about this when the chances of him actually mentioning Simpson-Bowles are next to none.
This reader has the right idea:
Outflanking Romney/Ryan on deficit reduction would instantly destroy the GOP’s narrative of Obama as the big-spending lubrul hell bent on growing the federal government and driving our country into bankruptcy. It would reframe the home stretch of the election on Obama’s terms, casting him as the practical and sensible politician some of us already know him to be, while reigniting the passion of those who desperately seek a leader to compromise on reasonable grounds for the sake of moving our nation forward.
Obama taking a stand on deficit reduction a la Bowles-Simpson would fly in the face of almost everything the unhinged Right has been screaming since 2009. I think it would be another such transformative moment for many – maybe for the country. Those willing to face the mirror would realize the White House has been occupied for the last four years by a true centrist, and a president who deserves the support of the American people and a second term to finish the noble work he has begun.
My related thoughts from earlier today here.
(Video is from December 2011)