Obviously, most of what matters for President Obama's reelection chances is how voters view their future prospects with him as president instead of Mitt Romney. And obviously, the president wants voters to see him the way he wants to be seen, unblemished by Romney or by the world around him. It remains to be seen if Romney's blows can have a crippling effect, but the environment outside of the campaign where the president must live is getting worse.
The president must make his case while the world around him isn't doing him any favors and is actually highlighting many of his failures. At least four challenges weigh down the president this week as he tries to make his case for reelection. Job losses, the Chicago teachers strike, gasoline prices and Syria all suggest to voters that the president might not be up to the job and we should give a new person a chance.
There is no case the president can make that he knows how to create jobs. When the last jobs report released by his administration says four times more people quit looking for a job than found one, it's a showstopper. Think how many family members that impacts. The ripple effect of these devastating numbers makes the terrible problem even worse for the president.
Next, the teachers strike reminds voters of how selfish and harmful teachers unions have become. And since they are part of the president's core group of supporters, his silence speaks volumes about his fear of alienating the unions, even when they are at their worst. The teachers want to work less, get paid more and be less accountable. Of course, the Chicago school system is performing miserably, is very expensive and has accumulated massive debt. The teachers unions’ only supporter on the national stage is Barack Obama.
Gasoline prices are a constant reminder of the president's ideology and ineffectiveness. The fact that gas cost $1.84 a gallon when he was elected and it now costs $3.84 speaks for itself. And for most American families, it speaks every day. And, oh by the way, in the past the president has made it clear that he wants Americans to pay higher energy bills so that they will use less of it and develop a lifestyle he finds more acceptable. That could account for the fact that the president has no plan to lower gas prices.
And finally, there is the embarrassment of America's uselessness as Syria unravels. The unrest grows and America is on the sidelines, offering no leadership as the world changes in uncertain and potentially dangerous ways. It is embarrassing that America is being so silent and irrelevant. It doesn't drive many votes, but it highlights an Obama weakness.
While Obama tries to escape blame and defame Romney, he can't escape the world that he has helped shape. His campaign plan is to be so loud and over the top in his assault on Romney that people don't notice what his presidency has created. It will be hard for the president to escape accountability just by bashing Romney.