Obama was the dream candidate for urban, young voters. He was cool. He was hip. He was sophisticated. He sneered at Middle America. All the hope-and-change stuff, the oceans rising (or parting?) made their hearts flutter. Since then he’s given them little to cheer about.
On the foreign-policy side, he’s turned out to be a cynic and indifferent to hope and change in places like Iran. On the domestic side, youth unemployment is sky high and young, healthy Americans are going to be forced to buy expensive insurance whether they like it or not (if ObamaCare goes into effect). Now he’s going after their summer jobs. The New York Times reports:
The Labor Department says it is cracking down on firms that fail to pay interns properly and expanding efforts to educate companies, colleges and students on the law regarding internships.
“If you’re a for-profit employer or you want to pursue an internship with a for-profit employer, there aren’t going to be many circumstances where you can have an internship and not be paid and still be in compliance with the law,” said Nancy J. Leppink, the acting director of the department’s wage and hour division.
This is not an insignificant matter to young people. As the report notes, “In 2008, the National Association of Colleges and Employers found that 83 percent of graduating students had held internships, up from 9 percent in 1992. This means hundreds of thousands of students hold internships each year; some experts estimate that one-fourth to one-half are unpaid.” And, frankly, in tough economic times this may be the only job experience these students are going to get coming straight out of school.
Given all this, I wonder if Obama is going to get the same support from young voters in 2012. I suspect many of them will have wised up by then.