What to Expect if President Barack Obama Wins Second Term
“Forward,” reads the slogan on President Obama’s reelection posters. Toward what, specifically, the president and his top aides have said relatively little.
Obama’s speech to the Democratic National Convention on Thursday laid out general goals on smaller-scale issues while saying little about the larger debates that probably would dominate a second term if he was reelected. Administration officials defend that approach, noting that Republican nominee Mitt Romney has offered even fewer specifics.
The clearest priority that Obama has established for a potential second term is his demand that tax rates go up on incomes over $250,000 per year. If he is reelected, that goal would set up an early, and potentially intense, battle with congressional Republicans, who are likely to retain control of the House and perhaps win a majority in the Senate.
Obama would have some powerful leverage in that fight. In a meeting with reporters several months ago — long before he joined the Republican ticket as the vice presidential nominee — Rep. Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) argued that Republicans should make their budget plans a major theme of the election because winning would then provide a clear mandate for implementing their plans. “Elections are about choices,” he said.