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Obama attempting to achieve a George Bush style re-election

Washington, Tue, 24 Jan 2012 ANI

Washington, Jan.24 (ANI): U.S. President Barack Obama will attempt to borrow a page from an unlikely playbook-that of the man he has spent the last five years disparaging, George W. Bush - to get re-elected this year.


Ahead of his third State of the Union address Tuesday night, Obama and his aides have already begun framing the fall contest as a "choice" election, not a simple up-or-down referendum on his own job performance in the Oval Office, Fox News reports.


It was President Bush, in his 2004 match-up against John Kerry, who perfected the "choice" strategy.


Buffeted by mounting opposition to the Iraq war, Bush argued that the alternative to a second term - that being the Democratic senator from Massachusetts - was so dangerous that voters should put aside any misgivings they might have about the president.


"We have not seen a choice this stark in years," Obama told the friendly audience at Harlem's famed Apollo Theater on Thursday.


He further said: "The contrast this year could not be sharper. So the question is not whether people are still hurting; people are still hurting profoundly. A lot of folks out there still out of work looking for work. The question is, what do we do about it?"


Obama's incentives for following that approach are not difficult to discern.


The latest Fox News poll finds registered voters nationwide effectively split on whether they approve or disapprove of the president's job performance.


And, two-thirds of respondents are displeased with the country's direction, which is up four percentage points from one year ago.


"It's going to be incumbent on the president to make clear to everyone that there are two differing philosophies here," said Erik Smith, a Democratic media strategist who formerly served as a House leadership aide.


He added: "And the flip side of that is the president not only having to talk about what he's done and defend that but be able to describe what the alternative course is." (ANI)


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