John King: To win, Obama must make history again
September 3rd, 2012
11:42 AM ET
2 years ago

John King: To win, Obama must make history again

Editor's note: The 2012 presidential race is CNN Chief National Correspondent John King's seventh campaign. He analyzed what challenger Mitt Romney and Republicans needed to do in their convention last week.

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (CNN) - It is a very different year – and very different mood - as Democrats gather for their convention. But there is one carryover from 2008: To win the White House, Barack Obama will once again have to make history.

Four years ago, it was a groundbreaking victory for the first African-American to win the presidency. Now, to win four more years, it is a less glamorous but still significant barrier in his way: only Franklin Roosevelt was re-elected with unemployment this high.

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soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. DRAKE MALLARD

    if the Republicans can’t fix any of these problems that are allegedly the Democrats’ fault, then why elect them to office in the first place?

    September 3, 2012 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  2. Hoppergrass

    Obama's going to make history no matter what.

    September 3, 2012 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  3. T'sah From Virginia

    ◄◄Ryan set to campaign on 'are you better off' question◄
    "Careful LYAN-the audience YOU speak to IS BETTER OFF; the majority of Americans see that and have a different impression"
    Of course we're better off than the end of Bush’s era – We're not losing 800,000 jobs a month BUT gaining
    We will move FORWARD because RobMe/Lyan has NO PLAN to create jobs-BASHING is all that's remaining!!

    Obama 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forward, And YES, We Know You Built That – We ALL Did!!!

    September 3, 2012 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  4. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Remember the outrage, death threats, and hate when Jackie Robinson broke into the major league? Those who hated him appears to have married a person who also hated Jackie, and had children who grew up to hate our first black president breaking into the all white game of presidential politics.

    September 3, 2012 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  5. Woman In California

    no incumbent has ever been re-elected with unemployment this high.

    True, but NO incumbent has had a Congress vow (at least in public) to make the current president a one term president and no president has had a Congress go against every piece of legislation proposed to put Americans BACK to work. Voters are aware of these FACTS and that is why the president is not out of this race and very much IN it.

    Obama/Biden 2012

    September 3, 2012 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  6. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    President Obama will have to win by running against a man who has no economic plan besides the Ryan voucher plan for tax cuts for the wealthy at the expense of seniors, no foreign policy knowledge yet threatens war with Iran and rekindles the cold war with Russia, a promise to sign personhood into law, a promise to repeal affordable health care, and deny immigrants a path to citizenship. The only records he has are off limits : a record of failure as governor in MA and a record of government bailouts while at Bain.

    September 3, 2012 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  7. S.positive

    And when did you become that smart John? No all his has to do is speak the truth LOUDER...

    September 3, 2012 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  8. Four and The Door

    The strategy Obama/ Biden 2012 has embraced is clear. Divide and conquer. Try and demonize success in America. Try and convince the huge number of middle case that success in America can only be gotten by evil ways and that all successful Americans are arrogant ( ...coming from Obama?!?! well, let's go with it anyway...) and looking for loopholes and ways to make more money. Who cares if the Occupy movement didn't turn out to be that great "grass roots" uprising that Democrats could counter the Tea Party with? The Democrats are more than happy to adopt the Occupy battle cry against the 1%. Divide and conquer!

    But what we will learn in November is that Americans are not so easily divided. The real American experience is opportunity for everyone, not division by class and not consumed by envy. Americans work together and when someone works hard the opportunities are here. Or at least they used to be. And they can be again. Romney/ Ryan 2012.

    September 3, 2012 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  9. OT

    We understand CNN's interest is to make this thing look close till the last minute, but I got news for John King: it is not a miracle for people to see where we were headed 4 years ago, and where we are now.

    September 3, 2012 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  10. Michael Barber

    Problem for Obama: If the President says he has been stone-walled by a determined GOP Congress, he is seen as a weak, ineffectual executive, unable to find a way to compromise. And the fact that he did have both houses for the first two years and passed a healthcare reform without any GOP votes as well as the fact that his budget was defeated unanimously–even Dems voting against!–all makes the first option a hard sell. However, if the President claims he did lead and did get his agenda passed he has another problem–most feel this economy is not where it should be. So essentially the president is ineffectual as a leader or did the wrong things... He can't have it both ways!

    September 3, 2012 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  11. T'sah From Virginia

    ►John King: To win, Obama must make history again◄
    And he will – Because the RIGHT keeps commuting a LYAN sin
    And to get there we will once again ROCK THE VOTE!!
    Because electing RobMe/Lyan is just one big JOKE!!!

    Obama/Biden 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forward and YES, We Know You Built That – We ALL Did!!!

    September 3, 2012 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  12. Tiesha...for the RECORD

    I just don't like Biden saying he's gonna put us back in chains.

    September 3, 2012 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  13. Darryl

    I've followed the Presidents political life from his days of a community organizer thru his becoming a Senator and now his biggest achievement as POTUS of the free world. There is a deliberate discord to STOP this President from achieveing absolutely any positive direction in this country period. And there is a problem with his Ethnice background in this also. But saying all that and there is more, to this I say.......... This President will be re-elected and he will make History for sure.

    September 3, 2012 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  14. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Michael Barber – Ineffectual leader ??? Tell that to al Qaida, bin Laden, Ghaddafy, . . . Oh, you can't, they are dead.

    September 3, 2012 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  15. Tiesha...for the RECORD

    I honestly think Michelle wears the pants in that family.

    September 3, 2012 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  16. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Mittens refusal to release his taxes, his foreign accounts, his foreign donors, his payouts to his friends in the government bailout of the Salt Lake Olympics, his government records in MA, his Bain records, makes us believe that Mittens has more dirty secrets than the CIA.

    September 3, 2012 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  17. PJ

    Woman in California you are so right. There has never been a Congress as willing to let America falter and
    her people suffer like this Republican, now Tea Party, Congress. Instead of being ashamed, they are
    proud of what they have done, including tossing their own to the curb and replacing them with more
    extremists. They have a candidate that is so secretive even his own surrogates can't answer questions.
    Nobody knows what he will do except the wealthy donors he speaks to at "closed door" dinners.
    What little we do know is frightening, but some are so filled with hate they don't understand they are
    "cutting off their noses to spite their faces". They will know if he wins, but sadly he will take the
    rest of us down with him. Enough already!

    September 3, 2012 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  18. Rex

    Hey,everybody knws dis! Pls tell us what we are yet to knw!

    September 3, 2012 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  19. GI Joe

    I don't trust Romney/Ryan - never have and never will. They won't even try to get the country on it's feet. IF elected, they wlll immediately take more from the middle class and give more to the wealthy.

    September 3, 2012 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  20. louis franks

    Better off? We are a lot worse. Obama is going to destroy this country if get reelected. Please open your eyes. WAKE UP AMERICA!!!!

    September 3, 2012 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  21. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    The problem with the point that the GOP makes is the assumption that the president can get what he wants passed through Congress. I don't think that there has been much headway in the reason to vote FOR Romney. All I heard was that Obama hasn't done enough and done too much depending upon the topic.

    September 3, 2012 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  22. Anthony

    Obama has one thing going for him– his opponent is Romney, who is running only on voters' perception of his economic competence. Voters won't know anything more about Romney, because, like his tax returns, he won't tell you.

    Because Romney won't talk about his tax plan, few people know about it. Romney's tax plan is to give everyone, including rich people like him, another 20% tax cut. He wants the tax cut even though the government is already running a 1.3 trillion deficit. In 2012, the government receives 1.1 trillion in income tax. Just imagine what will happen to the deficit when the government takes in 20% less in income tax, which is what happens when everyone pays 20% less.

    What about Republican argument that lower tax rate leads to higher revenue? We have the Bush tax cuts for 11 years now. In the meantime, income tax revenues have fallen by 2.4% GDP.

    People like Romney are still doing fine. Romney may have a good reason not wanting to release his tax returns. Romney does not want people to know how little he pays in taxes, relative to his income, while not creating jobs. Giving Romney another 20% tax cut– on top of whatever amount he is not paying already– is not going to go over well with the American people.

    September 3, 2012 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  23. Ron L- Mich

    This is of making history is a non-issue. He IS the FIRST Black President...this is HISTORIC on it's own. The question before the nation is... Do you honestly believe that a EXTREMELY CONSERVATIVE Republican Party that has a Republican President with a Republican Congress, (and maybe) Republican Senate would not slowly dismantle Medicare, Labor Unions, Voter Rights, Womens Rights to Choose, and Social Security? I ASSURE YOU they will!! The results of that will be a even weaker Middle Class, with an even greater inequality in the wealth of this nation. The BIGGEST problem with this economy is so many Americans that have jobs are making less than $12.00 an hour that after paying for the necessities of life have NO expendable income!! The Republican idea of our tax system with make this worst, not better. Until this changes the economy will remain sluggess...NO DEMAND...NO GROWTH!!

    September 3, 2012 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  24. Leticia

    Our President simply needs to keep doing what he's doing. People are not expecting him to emulate the 2008 hype, they're expecting him to continue being who he is. If he does that, he will be fine. He will win the election.

    September 3, 2012 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  25. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    louis – We are not worse off than the economic abyss of the Bush/republican near depression Obama inherited. For a right wingnut to forget what trickle down economics does, you should occasionally tune into real media, and not that Fox foreign owned crap.

    September 3, 2012 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
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