Michael Birkner, the Benjamin Franklin Professor of the Liberal Arts and professor of history, was quoted in a September 1 Morning Call article about Obama's plan to sway voters at the 2012 Democratic National Convention.
From the Morning Call:
Michael Birkner, a presidential historian at Gettysburg College said the economic story is already written, so Obama's effort must be to convince voters that things are improving, albeit slowly, and he needs more time to set it right.
"Every election has its own dynamic and the dynamic of this year is whether the voters are going to say it wasn't his fault, it's not as good as it should be … He has to sell that narrative and it's Romney's job to convince voters that he's had his shot," he said.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt was the last president to win another term with blistering unemployment. The Great Depression was still on when he won his second term, but people sensed improvement, Birkner said. With around 15 percent unemployment in 1936, Roosevelt went on the attack against what he called, "economic royalists," whom Roosevelt cast by as enemies and welcomed their hatred, Birkner said.