In what was certainly the most memorable line of the RNC, Mitt Romney asked if "the best feeling you had was the day you voted for [Barack Obama]." For early supporters of the president, who sought change for more than a year before his election, this might have struck a chord.
After all, for most of the 2007-2008-campaign season, America appeared to be thriving, and the forthcoming president was going to find new and better ways of advancing our country and harnessing our prosperity. But that all changed with Lehman Brothers, a few short weeks before Election Day 2008.
What most Obama supporters failed to realize, though, was that it was no longer possible to vote for "change." This wasn't time for a new American vision — it was time for a pragmatic and technical-minded leader who could repair an insanely tangled economy. The bad news? President Obama was not that man. The good news? He has delivered nonetheless.
To answer Mitt Romney's question directly, here is what I would say: "I didn't feel good when I voted for Obama. I felt like crap, as our economy approached Depression. And by the time he moved into the White House, I was scared shitless."
And if you had come to me with a crystal ball in the cold January of 2009 and gave me the following statistics, I would have jumped for joy:
• By Summer 2012, the Dow Jones will be up 60% — regaining most of its losses.
• By Summer 2012, America will have created over a million jobs this year — in contrast, America lost millions of jobs as George W. Bush was leaving office.
• By Summer 2012, America will have regained its "safe haven" status and the dollar will have strengthened against other currencies.
• We are not in a recession. We haven't been in a recession for most of the Obama presidency.
While some people wish that President Obama had the sort of magical powers necessary to stem a depression, create ten million jobs, and usher in prosperity... the reality is that we are fortunate to be in this good shape.
What would America look like right now if Mitt Romney had been elected president four years ago? There really is no mystery. We do have an accurate answer. Great Britain did elect a conservative government — their equivalent to the Republican Party — and they took the economic path that Mitt Romney and all other American conservatives prescribe. It's called "austerity" and it involves massive expense cuts.
Now, given how Mitt Romney can't stop talking about spending cuts, one would imagine that Great Britain has reversed their slump and producing more crumpets than ever before, wrong. Their economy is shrinking. Their currency has lost significant value against the dollar. They have experienced none of the entrepreneurial and innovative breakthroughs that we Americans see in companies like Apple and Facebook.
No wonder Mitt Romney's trip to Britain was such a disaster — Londoners look at America and think to themselves, "they have it pretty good over there!" Sure, we need to create millions more jobs before Obama can declare, "mission accomplished" — and unlike some presidents, he will not celebrate prematurely. And our GDP growth of 1.5%? It's not high enough... but it's a lot better than that of our first-world allies.
Mitt Romney doesn't like to talk about his "plan" for helping the economy. And that's because his plan looks way too much like David Cameron's failed approach. So, do I feel as good about Obama today as I did four years ago? Yes. Because I feel a lot better about America and our economy right now than I did in late 2008. On November 4th 2008, my 401k was worth a lot less. On November 4th 2008, my country was in the process of shedding 533,000 jobs that month. On November 4th 2008, my recently founded business was low on capital and unable to find any new investors. I feel a hell of a lot better today.