As I watch the GOP debates and reflect on the 2008 presidential election, I wonder if the American people have learned some lessons from that election.
In 2008, then Senator Obama wowed crowds and inspired hope and devotion amongst Democrats, Independents and even some Republicans with his stirring rhetoric and promises for a new era of American resurgence and Washington bi-partisanship. I admit, I got caught up in the emotion of it all and thought he could be the right leader for a new era in Washington where they would put aside partisan rhetoric and put forth common sense, pragmatic solutions to the nation's woes. It would take pain on both sides of the aisle to make this work. A little voice in my head kept reminding me that I wasn't sure exactly what Obama stood for, but I ignored it because I believed in the dream.
That was the beauty of his campaign. Anybody could find something to believe in. His statements were at the grand ideas level, and we voters didn't have to be too concerned with implementation because (as the media often reminded us) he knew how to run a campaign and was surrounded by smart people who had policy and governing experience.
Fast forward four years and we are paying the price for not coloring him in. With the unemployment rate hovering between 8.5 and 9% and the deficit at record levels, I want details from my next President. I don't want the outline to be filled in later. I want the whole picture please. We need to demand this from the Republican candidates as well.
As a working mom who wants her children to have opportunities she never had, the details are important to me. Yes, I understand from the Republican candidates that we will rely more on the private sector for jobs, that we will not raise taxes, balance the budget and have a strong military. This is music to my ears, this is exactly what I want but how? America's finances are shaky, we are deeply in debt so how are we going to make this work? What spending exactly will we cut and how will we raise the money to pay down the deficit, provide tax breaks for businesses to invest in creating jobs, and ensure that the United States military capability remains the strongest in the world.
I want all of this, but I have learned my lesson from 2008. I need more than the outline…color it in please.
Sharee McKenzie Taylor is a guest blogger for IWF, and a lawyer who works on financial services issues in Washington DC"