Dear President Barack Obama:
As a left-leaning political independent, I voted for you in 2008 as a candidate of change. But your current campaign attacks on Mitt Romney (which I can understand may gain votes by firing up your base) insult voters' intelligence, and seem the same as any Democratic presidential incumbent, as opposed to linked with the same candidate who ran in 2008.
I understand that staying in office is more important than treating the American voters as collectively intelligent, if there were only one choice between the two options. But your re-election campaign does not currently feel like one of the 2008 politician of change. This has led to the danger of losing my vote, and I would imagine, those of many who think like I do, and who helped you win four years ago.
I watch the news closely, and certainly understand that Congress has tied your hands the last two years. And I admire and support your myriad accomplishments in office.
However, I don't personally care (even if it is found out to be true) that Mitt Romney may have outsourced jobs at Bain Capital. His goal there was to salvage the profitability of companies in danger of bankruptcy, and he did exceedingly well at that.
In fact, Mr. Obama, you acted in a very similar role as Mr. Romney did at Bain Capital in your restructuring of the Detroit auto companies. I know this full well, having grown up in Michigan, with friends and family laid off from such careers.
I acknowledge and am grateful you saved jobs, but that only happened as an effect the companies fundamentally changing their business to be more sustainable, competitive, and profitable. I am glad the companies are doing better. I also understand why people I know have never regained their jobs in those companies.
I understand that layoffs are necessary sometimes when a company is doing poorly. Nobody has a job if a company goes under.
To suggest Romney was a felon in having done so is preposterous. (And, yes, I understand the "felon" label was officially tied to the timing of Romney's self-label as CEO.) Still, I understand the larger goal is to tie the label of "felon" to Romney. Shame on your lowest common denominator campaign. In what way is this “change?” It feels to me more like overzealous character assassination.
I have absolute faith in your political savvy. So I assume that, since you’re choosing this campaign strategy, it must be "effective" politics, in the fact that it will gain votes. But it doesn't seem like change, fundamentally, in politics.
To me, your current campaign feels very little like the inspirational movement of 2008. It seems more like you have become part of the system you criticize. If Washington is broken, why do you emotionally pander for votes, rather than being the bigger man?
Instead, you are insulting the intelligence of voters with the way you are campaigning. Sarah Palin--who I could never have imagined comparing you with before your current campaign--lost any chance of my vote for John McCain when she said about you in 2008, "I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a community organizer, except that you have actual responsibilities." If a politician insults citizens' intelligence by pigeonholing and belittling a worthy opposing candidate, they no longer retain rights to informed votes.
And what you're saying about Romney and Bain Capital feels just about the same.
You no longer feel like the candidate of change. To me, you now feel corrupted by the very system you vowed to change.
Very respectfully, Mr. President, now you need to change.
Again, I understand that in political campaigns, you need to “fire up the base.” In the end, gaining votes is the goal. However, do not forget that independents, like myself, are now a top variable in elections. We are the most likely to be swayed by new ideas and actions, considered within the context of current events, instead of leaning of established party platforms.
I admire and support the change you have created as president that other Democrats in your position probably couldn't have accomplished: health care expansion, credit card reform and repealing “Don't ask, don't tell” are just a few.
I recommend you focus on reminding the voters of that change, to help keep the message progressing from 2008, while at the same time taking the teeth out of Romney's point that you’re unwilling to run on your record.
I worry that by sticking with the standard party platform and playbook, you’ll alienate the huge bloc of voters who helped you win in 2008--young, generally independent voters who are tired of seeing the same old politics of adults acting like children.
You inspired many first-time voters, who you may now be driving to stay home on election night. I fear commentators may look on your campaign loss in November, and say it's a result of your campaign losing its message of change--indeed its very soul--from 2008.