Saturday, June 02, 2012

With economy failing, what "hope" is there for Obama if his slogans "Change" and "Forward" are contradicted by his policies, e.g. medical marijuana?

Page one, June 2, 2012, pick your newspaper: "Weak jobs report." "U.S. unemployment edges up to 8.2%." "Grim Jobs Report Sinks Markets" "JOB GROWTH WEAK FOR THIRD MONTH, AS RECOVERY LAGS"

The economy is NOT recovering; not good for re-electing the incumbent, Obama.
The most recent Gallup Poll shows Obama and Romney are tied. The conventional wisdom is that Obama must double down on the economy as his defining message to win.

However, it may be even more critical for Obama to capture voters for whom issues other than the economy are primary.

For the critical group of voters, age 65 and older, Romney is ahead 14 points. As we all know, they vote.

For the retired, unemployment numbers may not be as important as the number of pills they take for their aches and pains. (In my next post, I will discuss Robert Platshorn and The Silver Tour!, subtitled, "Teaching Seniors The Benefits of Medical Marijuana," featured on page one of the Wall Street Journal!)

Recently I said to a Capitol Hill analyst, "Given his political vulnerability, why doesn't Obama support medical marijuana when it is so politically popular in all demographics?"
Reply, "Obama really isn't that flexible about change!" She's right, I realized.

To the extent that Obama becomes seen as conservative and reluctant to change, Obama looks like a deeply "cynical cat" for having run in 2008 on the slogans "Change we can believe in" and "Hope and Change."

Could advocates for medical marijuana make Obama's stance on medical marijuana emblematic of core personal resistance to change? If so, does this expose Obama's campaign persona as a fraud? If so, Obama's re-election becomes much more problematic!

One of the questions regularly asked in a poll for the Associated Press is "Does President Obama care about people like you?" The possible answers are "very well," "somewhat well," "slightly well," "not at all," and "unsure."

When Obama was sworn in, 53 % said very well, 26% said somewhat well, 7% said slightly well, 12% said not at all, and 2% were unsure. The percentage answering very well fell by January 2010 to 41%. 24% said somewhat well, 7% said slightly well, and not at all more than doubled to 27%, with 2% unsure. In December 2011, the percentage saying Obama cares about people like you fell to its lowest, 32% very well, 22% somewhat well, 11% slightly well, and 36% not at all, and none unsure. By February 2012, there was slight improvement: 36% very well, 21% somewhat well, 7% slightly well, 34% not at all, and 1% unsure.

Can medical marijuana advocates convert the overwhelming public support for medical marijuana into a criterion for a person to consider whether the President cares about people like you? Could they mobilize social media, influence popular mass entertainment from Saturday Night Live to David Letterman, Conan, and Bill Maher, and create or inspire YouTube videos to carry the message that being a supporter of medical marijuana means caring for the sick, the elderly and the dying? If so, they could drive down the President's numbers.

Thus to the extent that Obama is portrayed and come to be perceived to be a hypocrite on "Change" or personally indifferent to the suffering of "people like me," those who are trying to push Obama's resistance to medical marijuana into the national discourse may succeed in making it a policy issue he continues ignore at his political peril.

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