“Clear choice?” Is this commercial the best argument Bill Clinton can make for re-electing President Obama?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

If you watch TV, you’ve probably seen a commercial the Obama campaign is running featuring Bill Clinton. Here’s the link to the video if you need it. Let’s read through the text of the 30 second ad together, including my comments after each section. The ad copy is in italics and breaks between paragraphs are my own. Here goes…

Bill Clinton:

This election, to me, is about which candidate is more likely to return us to full employment.

I agree, but his statement leaves open the question of “When?” Give either the President or Mitt Romney long enough in office, and the economy will recover, sooner or later, on its own. It’ll work its way back to full employment, perhaps in spite of our government’s programs, and the sitting President will take credit for the recovery. Bill Clinton is familiar with this trick, having taken full credit for the organic growth of the economy during his term in office. (See “Bill Clinton: Economic policy genius or just lucky?“)

This is a clear choice. The Republican plan is to cut more taxes on upper-income people and go back to de-regulation. That’s what got us in trouble in the first place.

If it was such a “clear choice,” they wouldn’t need to be running this commercial and the nationwide polls wouldn’t be showing what amounts to a toss up. In fact, the choice is anything but clear.

And does Bill Clinton really think Mitt Romney recovery plan is to “cut more taxes on upper-income people and go back to de-regulation”? Is that it? Would he like to make that argument to Mr. Romney’s face? Well, I think the point is that it’s Mitt Romney that’s running, not George W. Bush, against Barack Obama, not Bill Clinton.

President Obama has a plan to rebuild America from the ground up, investing in innovation, education and job training.

So the President has a plan? What’s he been doing the first almost four years he’s been in office? And his plan is to “rebuild America”? Will China really loan us enough money to do that? More to the point of Bill’s opening statement, innovation, education and even job-training take time. We need to put people back to work now.

It only works if there is a strong Middle Class. That’s what happened when I was President.

What, exactly, is the “It” Bill’s talking about? (He seems to have problems with the definition of short words.) Assuming he means “Economic recovery only works if there is a strong Middle Class,” he’s got it backwards. (See “The basackwards economics of President Obama.“) A strong Middle Class is, in fact, the product of a strong economy. You want a strong Middle Class? The economy needs to recover first. It’s not the other way around.

We need to keep going with his plan.

So, the President’s plan is already in effect? Good to know. How’s that working out?

And then President Obama says:

I’m Barack Obama, and I approve this message.

As to the question posed by the title for this piece, “Is this really the best argument they can make?” If it is, and these are seasoned politicians with virtually unlimited funds to write the best ad copy money can buy, then I think it really is a clear choice, just not in President Obama’s favor.

-Next Contestant

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