America leads. Will Australia follow?

It wasn’t long ago that US President Barack Obama looked destined for only one term of office. America was in damage control and his popularity was plummeting to new lows. Even as recently as May we saw, and were not surprised that:

. . . polls indicate President Obama is trailing his Republican opponent Mitt Romney. The Rasmussen poll shows a 47 to 45 percent race with Republicans enjoying a 7 point lead in a congressional generic ballot.  Meantime, the newest CBS News/ New York Times poll shows the president trailing Romney 46 to 43 percent among registered voters. The economy remains the most important issue to voters, with 62 percent voters and most Americans (67 percent) believing the economy is in bad shape, all troubling signs for the president. Romney leads the president among independents and women. The president had been leading with women last month in this poll.

If the election was held in May he would have been swept from office. But that was three months ago. As the polling day in November draws closer we are now witnessing a sharp swing towards him.

Barack Obama has opened a significant lead over Mitt Romney in a Bloomberg National Poll that reflects the presumed Republican nominee’s weaknesses more than the president’s strengths.

Obama leads Romney 53 percent to 40 percent among likely voters, even as the public gives him low marks on handling the economy and the deficit, and six in 10 say the nation is headed down the wrong track, according to the poll conducted June 15- 18.

Yes, that was June but recent polls show the same results.

If voters consider that Obama hasn’t handled the economy and is heading the nation down the wrong track, why then do they favour him over Mitt Romney? Sampling of the people who were polled provide us with the answer. It is, simply, Romney’s irreparable image. This link provides a good summary of my research (which is reflected over numerous web sites):

A majority of likely voters, 55 percent, view him as more out of touch with average Americans.

He hasn’t fulfilled a lot of his campaign promises, but I would vote for him (Obama) anyway because Romney would be extremely destructive for this country.

His perspective is you just let the free market take care of everything, and we’ll go right down the toilet drain, and everything — all the jobs — will go straight to Asia.

I think the guy is a little bit out of touch, because he has too much money to understand what a guy like me deals with.

It’s crunch time for Romney at home. It’s not much better for him on the international stage:

The British were offended, the Palestinians accused him of racism and even in friendlier Poland, Mitt Romney’s union policies drew criticism from the current leaders of the movement that toppled communism.

Romney’s visit to Britain, Israel and Poland was never expected to produce the same media frenzy as then-candidate Barack Obama’s extravagant, eight-country tour of 2008.

Obama received rock star treatment from international media and world leaders as he travelled from the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan to the glittering chancelleries of Europe.

Nevertheless, comparisons were inevitable and much of it was less than favourable to the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

“The designated Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney wanted to demonstrate foreign policy expertise and diplomatic skills with his trip to Britain, Israel and Poland,” the Swiss newspaper Tages-Zeitung said Tuesday. “Today, on the last day of the tour, he must be made to admit that he clearly missed this target.”

Despite their previous history of perceived arrogance and assumptions that the rest of the world can be damned, Americans now expect their leader to stand tall on the international stage. Romney doesn’t.

It is clear that as the election looms on the horizon the blowtorch is finally being applied to the alternative President and people are seriously taking a long hard look at the challenger. After a long period of condemnation towards Obama they have turned their glare to Romney. When it counts they are expressing doubts about having a President who is out of touch with them, who has no understanding of the issues faced by them, who is unable to generate a feeling of trust and security, and who would not represent them proudly on the international stage.

Well surprise, surprise. Many of us in the Fifth Estate see in Tony Abbott a person who is out of touch, who has no understanding of the issues we face, who is unable to generate a feeling of trust and security, and who would not represent us proudly on the international stage. Our glare has been fixed for some time, but as the election here looms closer will the public and media blowtorch finally be applied to him.

Will we ask ourselves the hard questions? Will we follow America’s lead?

Official photographic portrait of US President...

Official photographic portrait of US President Barack Obama (Photo credit: Wikipedia)