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Has Obama Been a Man of His Word?

Mitt Romney implies that the president hasn't kept his promises.

Mitt Romney is desperately trying to appear the everyman since his net worth has become a huge issue with voters. Romney, who earned more than $21 million in 2010 has been feeling the heat from all sides during recent campaign activity. While he was in Florida, he told those who gathered to listen to him that President Obama's State of the Union address proved just how out of touch with reality the president is. He said Americans need a president who "means what he says." 

Naturally, he's hoping voters forget that he's flip-flopped on virtually every issue since he began running for president. Mitt Romney is not an honest politician, an for him to criticize the president as not being a man of his word is preposterous, to say the least. There are some voters out there, however, who are very disappointed in Obama -- myself included -- because the media has played up his inability to reach across the aisle and negotiate terms that are in the best interet of the people rather than corporations.

But let's take a look at Politifact's numbers, shall we? Politifact rates each of the president's campaign promises by using a number of criteria, some of which I find questionable. So far, the organization has rated 332 of Obama's promises, rating 162 of those as "promise kept," and 50 of those as "compromised." Fifty-six of those promises were broken -- either because Congress voted against them, the ventures failed (as what happened with the foreclosure prevention fund), or because the president never brought it to the table. Another 64 of those promises are currently stalled because they didn't get enough votes to bring them up for debate in Congress. So, essentially, the president has about a 50%-plus average for his promises kept and has compromised on some issues in order to get a bill he felt was important passed. 

Am I angry that he reneged on his promise to veto the National Defense Authorization Act? You bet I am. Am I disappointed that he tried for too long to work with Republicans at the expense of many important issues? Of course I am. I believe Obama underestimated his ability to bring both sides together, and ended up being castigated by both sides for either being too naïve or too liberal/commie/fascist/Hitler-ish (depending on which side you were on). It wasn't until 2011 that he began to show Americans that he wasn't fooling around. 

  • He made the call to catch and/or kill two of the most wanted terrorists in recent history. 
  • He made good on his promise to get troops out of Iraq, and is doing the same for Afghanistan. 
  • He passed a bill making health care accessible for everyone. 
  • And just last week, he sent out Seal Team 6 again to rescue two people from Somalian pirates. 

I won't pretend and say Obama is everything I want him to be, but he is one of the few presidents I have had high hopes for. I would bet my bottom dollar that a second term for President Obama will be a much different experience than the first one. Why? Because he'll know he won't have an election to worry about. He can focus on his issues and goals without having to focus on what conservative pundits or opponents have to say about it. Obama can just buckle down and get the job done. And that is exactly what I'm hoping for.