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Lose the battle, win the Presidency

April 14th, 2011

Though the 2008 presidential election is two and a half years in the rearview mirror, Republicans are yet to find a worthy candidate to defeat incumbent President Barack Obama in 2012.

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich has all but announced his intent to seek out the nomination, while Mitt Romney, the ex-governor of Massachusetts announced he has formed an exploratory committee just this past week. Even businessman Donald Trump has said he has intentions to capture the nomination, claiming he is Obama’s “worst nightmare” in regards to his re-election in 2012.

The names keep swirling, and Republican leadership still remains in question.

So, Republicans, why not Barack Obama for the party’s nomination in 2012? He’s agreed to a budget that, in his own words, is “the largest annual spending cut in [American] history.”

Some of his proposals include cuts to Democrat favorites such as family planning and, again in his own words, “the costly new year-round Pell grant” for low-income students. He’s delving into  entitlement programs like Medicare. This must be music to the ears of Republican law makers and supporters of the party across the nation, right?

Most of his concessions were made to avoid the shutdown, but why was he the one to give in? Why did the Democrats get the short end of the stick on the spending agreement?

The reason is as simple as Obama wants to be re-elected in  2012, but I hate to break it to you, not under the Republican ticket.

He has agreed to slash the spending on programs traditionally supported by the Democratic party: funding for education, health care and environmental programs. But he remained true to his party’s ideals on important issues like repealing the Bush tax-cuts for the wealthy, and a refusal to cut federal funding to Planned Parenthood. “Some of the cuts we agreed to will be painful,” the president said. “Programs people rely on will be cut back; needed infrastructure projects will be delayed.”

By not abandoning these core liberal beliefs, but appearing to agree with Republicans on cutting the $38 billion makes him look like the greatest budget-cutting president in history. Check that, it does make him the greatest budget-cutting president in history. The president and Speaker of the House John Boehner apparently had a $30 billion deal in the books, until Boehner surprised him almost a week before the shutdown was supposed to go into effect with a new $38 billion proposal. Why in the world would Obama agree to that when the prior agreement was already on the table?

As the campaigns for 2012, the president will use this action filled with a suprising amount of bipartisanship as ammo to propel himself towards re-election. He certainly won’t back down from health care and the other issues while campaigning. But for now he’ll take these pills that are a tough swallow.

Lose the battle, win the war, right Mr. President? For his sake, hopefully he’s right.