Convincing Young Voters Obama Was the Change Candidate Obama Promised

obama campaigningPresident Obama launched his re-election campaign last week and now, for the next six months, the nation will be witness to the Republicans’ attempt to derail the most significant change to ever affect the Presidency of the United States. At least from a complexion perspective. Maybe even from an ideological perspective.

Barack Obama is clearly one of the most pragmatic presidents we’ve ever had. His pragmatism, at times, may have been viewed as compromise politics, but he remained true to his commitment to change the system of politics in Washington, while not allowing the system to change him. That has yet to be seen. However, now the President has the daunting job of reinvigorating the mania that got him elected.

Obamamania was the most exciting thing to hit America since Beatlemania. Over 35 million young voters showed up en mass to “vote change,” in a most radical demonstration of populist revolt since the Revolutionary War. Talk about “putting it to their parents?” The generation did, and their political rebellion showed them. Their parents woke up and a black man was President of the United States. America is still in culture shock.

anthony samadBut then, a shocking reality hit the youth and the nation. President Obama faced a different type of obstructionism than Candidate Obama had ever faced. Yeah, the birthers continued their noise, and the racists continued their noise (about Obama being a Muslim), and the partisan media continued their noise (never giving credit to anything he did right and misreporting things that went wrong – many times having nothing to do with him), but partisan politics within the government was intensified and the gridlock was stymieing. Young people didn’t understand that.

When the midterm elections came around, they were nowhere to be found. The mania was gone because Obama wasn’t on the ballot. The Democrats lost the House because pop culture didn’t show up for politics. It showed up for Obama.

Now, the President has the daunting task of convincing those million — and another generation that has since turned 18 years old and will be voting in their first election — that change is working. Heretofore, all the energy has been put on raising money…and that is necessary. He raised $750 million in 2008, and has promised to raise a billion this time – because the Republicans and the Supreme Court have changed all the rules on campaign finance limits. They are trying to raise $2 billion to stop this change train. The fundraisers can’t invigorate the masses. Not in this economy. Only the President can.

The President’s main task is convincing us that he was, in fact, the change that we had been waiting for, and that we were part of that change in his first term. The President must tell more of what he’s done, where it becomes evidence that Candidate Obama went to work for the people once he became President Obama. His “Promises Kept” agenda must be more widely communicated than the begging for dollars (which is getting on nerves).

Anthony SamadI shouldn’t have to pay to hear what my President has done for me, every time I want to see him. They need to work on that. Because young people, in particular, don’t understand that aspect of politics yet. They just want to know if anything has changed. Only the President can answer that for them.

He’d better…if he wants the mania to return. Because, again, the world is watching…

Anthony Samad

Posted: Friday, 12 May 2012


  1. JoeWeinstein says

    When ‘partisan politics within the government was intensified’, of course the young people didn’t understand,   Neither did or do the old, or the middle aged.  Obama never bothered to use his bully pulpit even to explain, let alone advocate.  Compromise politics don’t make sense when you do all the compromising and the other guys remain intransigent: they just show up your incompetence and your acquiescence to evil. 

  2. dusty says

    The trail to a second term is going to be a difficult one made more so by the President himself when he chose people such as Geitner and the Wall Street crowd to advise us out of the great recession.  The strategy didn’t work and probably won’t work.  Austerity for the poor and the working people and bailouts for the rich is a recipe for continued deprivation for the many and wealth beyond the reach of monarchs for the few.  Now, with an economy that is piddling along and heavy education debts coming on to young people as foreclosures balloon — this is a recipe for disaster.  Maybe with the declaration on gay marriage the President is showing that he will fight for the interests of the ‘merican people’ in the coming years but there still needs to be a commitment to taxing the corporations and the rich to pay for education, healthcare, the social net in general.  Then, too, the administration has to quit throwing money and lives at Iraq and Afghanistan and let the people there determine their own future.  Oh, we should pay to rebuild their nations since we destroyed them with our invasions.

  3. Garychomiak says

    Not only does Obama need to fire up these voters, but he has to do it to the extent these young voters vote the entire ticket.  What good will it do him and the nation if he wins the right to live in the White House when the House and Senate are red?

  4. Evelyn Goodman says

    You have really hit it on the head, and put it well. 
    The road to re-election is not going to be easy, but politics being what it is, truth many times, gets lost in the shuffle!
    We have work ahead of us, as the opposition is not going to make it easy, so they cannot be underestimated in their efforts to distort truth.
    But this country cannot afford to go backwards, which is what would happen if the wrong person gets elected—–(another Bush, maybe??)
    So, let’s roll up our sleeves—-and get to work!

  5. Anitaccs says

    Sorry Dr. Samad…President Obama is not who thinks he is! He had a great opportunity to save this country for generations to come and either he did not want to or he did not know how to do it. I believe it was both…for one he does not understand or know what this country is all about. In a way I really don’t blame him too much for that. As a young man he was around people who blame the country for everything wrong in their lives…and never understood that even with all the faults of this country and I admit there were and still are many we are still the hope of the world. It is too bad that he did not learn in time to really love and appreciate the opportunities that this country gave him and his wife.

    He became the President of the greatest country in the world with no background to speak of for it…and he failed to take advantage of it. He surrounded himself with haters of the country and with people that were not of any help to him. My hope is that our young people will learn from his mistakes.

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