What's The Real Difference Between Obama And Romney?

Obama reflected in Vietnam memorial

Photo: White House/Flickr

At a dinner party the other night inCambridge, Massachusetts, I was asked if I was looking forward to November 7, 2012, when the U.S. presidential election would be over. I responded that I hadn’t been following the election because (a) I assume the Barack Obama will be reelected, and (b) there wouldn’t be any dramatic changes if Mitt Romney were elected.

The host, who’d grown up in a wealthy New York family, and is a passionate Obama supporter, questioned me regarding this. I said “Well, under Bush we were embroiled in foreign wars, subsidizing government cronies with tax dollars, watching states bankrupt themselves with public employee pension commitments, and watching our children walk into some of the world’s most expensively funded and least effective schools.

Obama is about as different from Bush as a U.S. politician could be and yet nothing substantive has changed. Why would we expect huge changes from Romney? And if we don’t expect huge changes, why it is worth spending a lot of time and energy following the election?”

This segued into a discussion regarding Obama’s achievements in office. It turned out that, for the host, Obama’s most important achievement was “standing up to Netanyahu”. The host regarded Israel’s 7.5 million people as the greatest reservoir of wrongdoers on the planet, apparently, and was impressed by the Commander in Chief of the world’s largest military “standing up” to the leader of a country whose $243 billion GDP is comparable to the combined GDP of Baltimore and Cincinnati.

What do the readers think? Perhaps we can fill up the comment section with what folks think are Obama’s biggest achievements over the past 3.5 years. For comparison, here’s the semi-official list for Eisenhower.

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