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No Time Left; This is Mr. Obama's Last Chance and, Quite Possibly, America's

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Let's cut right to the chase. Simply put, the program for job creation that President presents to the Congress and the American people on September 8th, will be his last and final chance to prove that he is capable of leading this nation. Should he once again fail to show leadership, courage and conviction in addressing this issue, his presidency will, in effect, be over and he will become totally irrelevant.

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Let's put aside all this nonsense between the White House and John Boehner relative to when President Obama will present his speech on job creation to a joint session of Congress. Who cares when he gives it as long as he attacks this issue head on and tells the American people what they have long been waiting to hear. So on Thursday, September 8th, Mr. Obama, whether he knows it or not, will be making the most important speech of his life.

The last poll I saw indicated that two-thirds of the American people disapprove of his handling of the economy. That is simply astounding when we consider that many of the people polled had to have been liberals, progressives and independents; many of whom formerly supported him. It also is a clear indication that if he, once again, fails to address this country's #1 problem and presents some kind of lukewarm, watered down plan, then he can kiss his second term goodbye.

In anticipating this crucial presentation, I thought about how I would address this issue if I were the president of the United States. What would I do if I were faced with this monumental problem that is destroying this economy and causing great anguish in the lives of millions of Americans who desperately want to work but can't find a job? What kind of plan would I develop and how would I present it to the American people?

The plan I would propose would identify each major element of this jobs initiative that would directly address this central need: to get the largest number of Americans back to work just as quickly as possible. Without a doubt, the major thrust of this jobs creation program must involve the repair and rebuilding of America's infrastructure, roads, highways, bridges, the electrical grid and, also, the repair of thousands of schools that are deteriorating.

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It should also include specific incentives for small businesses that employ new workers and extra generous incentives for companies who produce energy-saving products or are developing new sources of energy. That's all it would need to include. And if this president learned anything from the previous highly criticized government stimulus program, this time the specific projects should be absolutely shovel ready and a full-time administration team assigned the responsibility to closely monitor all aspects of the individual projects.

The next most important part of this job creation initiative is the presentation that this president will make to the Congress and the American people. Mr. Obama needs to start off with a strong statement about the urgent need to use the power of this government to shore up this economy through job creation, as a necessary but temporary measure during this crisis. It must be presented with boldness and passion to energize the people, to motivate them and to get their full support. Nothing else matters except how the people react. With them fully supporting his jobs program it will have great momentum; if they have no faith in what they hear, well, let's not even talk about that.

In this presentation, there should be no reference to the Republicans, no criticism of their obstructionism, and he must not dare to use that now highly disturbing word - compromise. Republicans may be sitting in that gallery but they should be treated merely as spectators; his primary target must be the people of America, especially those many millions who are battling to survive and are desperate. The gist of the presentation should be to spell out the intended plan in as much detail as possible, show how it can bring immediate relief to the problem and, in this way, send this clear message to the GOP: "If you try to kill or obstruct what the people want and support, you will commit political suicide."

The next phase of this process would be for Mr. Obama to bring the presidential bully pulpit to the Oval Office and to use it to communicate directly to the American people. This should be done with regularity to continue to reinforce his proposals and to motivate the people to demand that the Congress act swiftly and responsibly. He needs to force the hand of the GOP obstructionists and, literally, paint them into a corner from which they can't free themselves unless they follow the wishes of the people.

The Republicans must be put on the defensive so that there is no possible way that they can stifle or block this jobs creation program without feeling the wrath and intense anger of the people. Thus far in Mr. Obama's presidency they have been on the offense, framing the agenda and controlling the issues, refusing to address and solve this nation's most critical problems. This will be the perfect time to clearly expose them for what they are, a detriment to America.

Above all, President Obama must present himself as a strong, decisive leader and shed his reputation as a weak president and a compromiser of the highest order. He needs to stop thinking about himself and his second term, and think only about America and its people; he needs to do everything in his power to solve this crisis by presenting a well-designed, meaningful program that will generate jobs and restore the economy.   At this point, he has everything to gain and nothing to lose; therefore, he must risk his entire political career if that is what it takes.

When I say that this is his last chance, I mean just that. He will not get a second chance to address this issue. Job creation, using the resources of the government, is the only way that millions of unemployed and underemployed Americans can be rescued from the brink of personal disaster. It is the only way to restore our battered economy.

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Not only is this the last chance for this president, it may well be the last chance for this nation.

Michael Payne


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Michael Payne is an independent, progressive activist. His writings deal with social, economic, political and foreign policy issues. He is a featured writer on Opednews and Nation of Change and his articles have appeared on many other websites (more...)

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