Obama and Romney on The Middle Class (PART 1)

Northouse, Follett, and Burns all discuss common purpose as a key element to leadership.  Common purpose may be relatively easy to find in an organization that already assumes a given purpose, but proves more elusive when engaging a social context.  For instance designing a more fuel efficient car may be somewhat more straight-forward than repairing the U.S. Economy.

Barack Obama and Mitt Romney have both chosen the middle class as a battlefield for their campaigns. Take a look at their ads below and comment on both candidates’ assumptions about what our common purpose as a nation might be.

This is not intended to be a “shout out” session for either candidate, but rather a critique or examination of both. Comments should be made on this post (not on the video posts).

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17 Responses to Obama and Romney on The Middle Class (PART 1)

  1. Morgan Carson says:

    Personally, I feel as if both ads dragging down the opponent is a terrible form of leadership. A strong candidate should just boost his own traits and make himself look better rather than mudslinging and tearing his opponent down.

    All that aside, both candidates are working for the common purpose of being elected to serve as the President of our nation. That is the purpose of the ads, although, both have different ways of getting there. According to Obama’s ad, he will not support the tax cuts from the millionaires, and according to Romney’s ad, he will continue to attack the high unemployment rates. The common purpose to expose their opponents worked effectively, but the common purpose of getting me (a registered 18 year old voter) on their side, failed.

    • Jasmine Porter says:

      I absolutely agree with Morgan Carson. I feel as though being a effective leadership is not about bringing down the opponent, but putting first things first. In other words, a strong leader should show how strong of a candidate they are by providing evidence of what they can do for the country themselves, verses tearing down his opponent.

      As I view the videos, it is very obvious that both candidates are approaching the same goal but unfortunately, I feel that all age ranges are not being reached out to

  2. Kristen Fisher says:

    These videos show how they both have the common goal to be elected as President of the U.S. They both want to improve the middle class. They attack each other by saying negative things. It is hard for us to know what to believe because they both say bad things about each other. It is not how a leader should be. A leader should focus on their own strengths and weaknesses. They shouldn’t attack the other one. A good leader focuses on their own self instead of acting other potential leaders. This lack of good leadership is hurting our country as a whole.

  3. Jerry Huang says:

    I don’t enjoy considering these attack ads whatsoever and do my best to tune out each side no matter the message. The average person is not nearly enough informed to make a strong decision on the majority of issues which makes these small snippets of advertisements so much more effective in misinformation of each side. While it may sound cliche, Statistics are made up, purposes are lied about, and the majority of the system is based off character of each individual and the ideologies of people aren’t nearly swayed from side to side in any of these conflicts as much as each side uses their own confirmation bias to hear advertisements and drive the other candidate into the ground. While both sides attempt to unify people against the other as each portrays the other as the “enemy of the middle class”, each say that the other will do such as sinful job as if they were Eve in the process of eating fruit. All in all, I think it is idiotic and shallow in attempts to judge a candidate and his true values and purpose based off thirty second fast-food commercials that only create ammunition for the egotistical loudmouths for each side that pretend as if their shallow knowledge and spoon-fed information is nearly enough to make a strong case for either candidate in any situation.

  4. Dixon Holland says:

    It is truly unbelievable how much hatred is shared between the two political parties. No matter what side people are on, we are all looking for the same goal with the presidential campaign: to elect a leader that is best fit to serve our country and make the best decisions for all of its citizens. These ads show the hatred that these parties have for one another, and clearly it will not stop until the election shows the results, and then of course many people will still be very upset with the outcomes. Hopefully they come to realize how a true leader should act when going up against an opponent: they must do it with respect for one another. That would make a true leader who the people would actually like to vote for.

  5. Riley St. Pierre says:

    I absolutely agree with Kristen. Politicians in America are constantly going after other politicians about their views, plans, etc…while in the meantime we hear very little of what they are going to do about the issues, problems in our country. That being sad, I thought Romney’s ad was weak and didn’t have much of a foundation, while Obama’s ad at least had some facts. Romney’s only had suggestive quotes against Obama and Obama had facts against Romney’s plan. Either way neither of them said what they were going to do and how they were going to make things better for the middle class. No matter who gets elected they are gonna mess up in one area or another, so exposing someone’s failures or unpopular plans is nothing new. However, having a plan that will work and help America and its economy is something that is hard to come by.

  6. Rachel Cotton says:

    I think that both videos need to be looked at with much scrutiny. For example, in the Romney campaign ad talks about unemployment being “stuck” at a certain rate, but it doesn’t say what unemployment used to be. They could have said the exactly same thing if unemployment used to be 11% and is now stuck at 8.2%, but that would mean the exact opposite of their message. In the Obama advertisement, where did they get the numbers for the tax breaks and tax increases? Were those taken out of context? Neither advertisement has any evidence, but they both do have shocking messages.
    Romney’s assumption is that our common purpose is to make sure that everyone has a job. Obama’s assumption is that everyone wants the upper class to pay a lot of taxes so they don’t have to pay as much. While I don’t know much about taxes because I am a kid and don’t have to pay them, I do think it is better to make sure that everyone has a job instead of bickering over who has to pay more taxes and whether or not everything is perfectly fair. Also, Romney just says that he wants to reduce unemployment which means helping people across the board, while Obama only focuses on benefitting the middle class. I think that, as far as this ad is concerned, Romney is trying to better the country as a whole rather than just focusing on one, albeit electorally large, portion of the country.

  7. Abby says:

    I think that one major problem regarding the battle over the middle-class is that the target class is too broad. It truly is middle class, not only in the fact that it encompasses those who aren’t poor enough to be in poverty AND those who aren’t rich enough to qualify as “loaded enough to pay extra taxes”, but also in the fact that this pool of voters is so large and so vast that it covers so many different ideologies. Someone looking in from the lower-middle class may see Obama’s anti-Romney ad and worry that Romney doesn’t have his best interest at heart. However, someone from an upper-middle class frame of mind may believe that Romney truly wants to “strengthen the middle class” and believe that Obama is focusing too much on benefits for those with less income, and lacking focus on the country itself. The middle class is too general of a term because there several categories for those who are financially defined to be middle class. A more honest election would take away emotion triggering words such as “middle class” that gets the electorate ramped up, and focus more on the facts and views of the candidates.

  8. Kyle Rushton says:

    These two videos clearly show that Romney and Obama are trying to display the other’s weaknesses in order to emphasize their own strengths. I think they should focus more on their own strengths, how they can better our country and how they can be seen as leaders. When I watch these ads, I want to be able to learn more about the candidate and what he stands for, not why the other candidate shouldn’t be chosen.
    Romney and Obama’s common purpose is to win the election in order to become President of our nation, but they each have their own way of achieving that goal. They, along with our nation, want to better the lives of the middle class, and the candidates are using that as a part of their campaigns. While Obama is portrayed as only helping his “friends”, Romney is criticized of hitting the middle class hard with higher taxes. Both ads effectively use questions targeted at the audience in order to get their minds thinking about the problems at hand, and whether the targeted candidate really is the right leader for our country.

  9. Haley Ward says:

    Though I may sound redundant, I too believe that bashing another person is not the most effective or even mature form of leadership. Both Obama and Romney are guilty of this and it does not come across as an “attention-grabber” for the good, it only leaves people in shock because of the slander that one of them said about the other. I bet if you were to ask people the pros and cons for each candidate and their plans, based on what they have stated in ads, most people could tell you more cons than pros, which is not how it should be at all. The common purpose of Obama and Romney is striving to win the American people over by getting them on their side, in order to be President. Although, as a now potential voter, I do not care for or even appreciate the campaign ads that have nothing to do with what the candidate is actually trying to do to better our country. In my opinion, a leader should not focus on putting down others, but rather only focus on getting their message across and what they can do for people and our economy.

  10. Andrew says:

    While I agree with what this article says I also think that political mudslinging is a feeble effort and that if the best you can do is bash your opponent you are not the quality of leader that our country needs.

  11. David Bohn says:

    Like others who have posted said, bashing the other candidate is not the way to persuade me in my decision. A big complaint people have is that the adds aired by both candidates simply tell one why not to vote for the other guy. Rarely is there and ad that offers reasons to vote for someone. When candidates being the bashing media ads the process continues because they must keep defend themselves and show the other candidates faults. It is sad to think that if a candidate was above the negative media, they would probably lose.

  12. Francisco Gabitan says:

    Voters shouldn’t pay attention to these negative ads because they are often misleading. If you truly want to find the truth regarding their plans for the middle class, look at what they’ve done in the past. Personally, I know that President Obama did nurture the status of the middle class because his stimulus plan helped a lot of my family friends to buy a house. I don’t know much about Romney and what he did for Massachusetts, but regardless of that I won’t judge him based on these video alone. Rather, I will research history to get a better view for myself.

  13. John jones says:

    The media will only continue to grow as a huge factors in elections in this modern world. It is sad that some people will vote based off an idea seen in an ad that is completely out of context our out of line. Personally, when making my decision in an election I do my own research instead of listening to everything the media says. I hope people can learn to formulate their own opinions instead of listening to the biased media.

  14. Patrick Lawrence says:

    Honestly I feel like political ads in the sense that they bash their opponents are completely unnecessary. If that is how a leader approaches their opponents and situations of uncertainty. I would not want them to be my leader, as they have character flaws. The media is such a huge factor in the outcomes of elections that it may be the most influential aspect of the voting population.

  15. Hoo In Won says:

    I believe it is almost impossible to find the election advertisement without bias. I believe that such video has alot of bias in itself. To find the realistic view of the politic one should just research oneself.

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