Opinion: The Obama name never hurt so bad


Jennifer Hutchinson is a sophomore political science major and a columnist for The Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].

Jennifer Hutchinson

Opinions of a president often change throughout their leadership; sometimes they’re for the better, and sometimes for the worse. President Obama is definitely experiencing the worse.

However, who would have thought it would be members of his own party leading the negative opinion front? If this was 2008, we would see states like Virginia, which hadn’t had a Democratic win since 1964, promoting Barack Obama as a “transformational leader who remade American politics by creating a new electoral map and a diverse voter coalition to shape the Democratic Party for the 21st century,” according to the New York Times. But, oh how the tables have turned.

You would think with Election Day closing in Democratic nominees would be eager to have the attention of President Obama to rally support for their campaigns. However, it seems these candidates are anything but that. In fact, they are actually trying to distance themselves from the Obama name.

And it’s not just Democrats in conservative-leaning states because a majority of the nominees see the president as a liability to their election or re-election and would like to see President Obama stay hushed about pushing his policies. All of this is in an effort to avoid another political blunder like the president had last week, where he stated that while he was not running in the election, his policies still were.

With President Obama’s policies being widely unpopular, I would say not only was his statement a bad move for himself, but an even worse one for the party. Even President Obama’s longtime adviser, David Axelrod, called the remark “a mistake.” Obama aides would argue that while, yes, the president’s popularity has diminished in recent years, there is still no one that can encourage support for a party like the president, and that ignoring him as an asset could be detrimental to a Democratic victory.

Those running in this year’s election, however, would say the president has become a weight on the shoulders of the party, and that even among President Obama’s top constituencies–women and young voters–he has lost popularity.

Senator Mark Udall, the first-term Colorado Democrat, made a good point when he said he must show that he stands for “the Colorado way, not the Obama way or the Democratic way” when it comes to leading his state. President Obama has always been complimented for his captivating speaking style and has a reputation for being a talker. However, this election season, mum is the word for the president.