Comparing Obama in 2007 and the Current Republican Presidential Field

By: Inoljt, http://mypolitikal.com/ 

The Republican presidential field is nearly complete. There is a possibility that Texas Governor Rick Perry might enter the field. Other than that, however, its pretty probable that the 2012 Republican nominee will be one of the current Republican candidates running.

The Republican presidential field has been criticized as weak, lacking a charismatic candidate. It’s hard to tell how valid this criticism really is; after all, if a Republican wins in 2012 nobody will remember what people are saying today. Many Republicans take heart by comparing their current field to the 1992 Democratic field, which was also criticized as extremely weak. That field, of course, turned out have the best politician in a generation.

One way to evaluate the strength of the Republican candidates is by comparing them to Senator Barack Obama in 2007. I’ve recently, somewhat on a whim, come upon a video of Mr. Obama during that time. It’s an interview on The Daily Show, back during the days when Mr. Obama was trailing Senator Hillary Clinton badly.

I highly encourage anybody interested in the 2012 presidential election to watch this video. It’s very interesting to see Mr. Obama back then, not as the president, but rather as just another merely ambitious senator.

Watching the interview, it does seem that Mr. Obama is a better politician than the current Republicans running for president – especially front-runner Mitt Romney. He sounds intelligent and quite thoughtful. Of course, this is very subjective; Republicans will probably disagree with this viewpoint, Democrats will wholeheartedly support it.

Nevertheless, there is one thing in which Mr. Obama does obviously outdo his Republican opposition – a thing which can be measured objectively. This is that he inspired much more passion in 2007 than any of the Republican candidates currently running. When Mr. Obama walks into the room, the crowd roars in excitement. Some supporters yell, “Barack, Barack.” Host Jon Stewart then starts the interview by noting:

You…The effect you have on a crowd, it is, it’s unusual for a politician. You do have…there is a certain inspiration quality to you.

It’s difficult to imagine anything similar happening with any Republican candidate currently running. People do not yell “Michele, Michele” during Congresswoman Michele Bachmann’s interviews.

This is one advantage that President Barack Obama seems to have; even in 2010, on the eve of massive Democratic losses, Mr. Obama was able to draw crowds of 35,000 to his rallies.

Republicans will gleefully point out that they won anyways, and that passion alone does not win elections. There is a lot of truth to this; one passionate voter is worth the same as one voter who could care less.

But at the very least, it is better to have passionate supporters than not to have them.

 

Comparing Obama in 2007 and the Current Republican Presidential Field

By: Inoljt, http://mypolitikal.com/ 

The Republican presidential field is nearly complete. There is a possibility that Texas Governor Rick Perry might enter the field. Other than that, however, its pretty probable that the 2012 Republican nominee will be one of the current Republican candidates running.

The Republican presidential field has been criticized as weak, lacking a charismatic candidate. It’s hard to tell how valid this criticism really is; after all, if a Republican wins in 2012 nobody will remember what people are saying today. Many Republicans take heart by comparing their current field to the 1992 Democratic field, which was also criticized as extremely weak. That field, of course, turned out have the best politician in a generation.

One way to evaluate the strength of the Republican candidates is by comparing them to Senator Barack Obama in 2007. I’ve recently, somewhat on a whim, come upon a video of Mr. Obama during that time. It’s an interview on The Daily Show, back during the days when Mr. Obama was trailing Senator Hillary Clinton badly.

I highly encourage anybody interested in the 2012 presidential election to watch this video. It’s very interesting to see Mr. Obama back then, not as the president, but rather as just another merely ambitious senator.

Watching the interview, it does seem that Mr. Obama is a better politician than the current Republicans running for president – especially front-runner Mitt Romney. He sounds intelligent and quite thoughtful. Of course, this is very subjective; Republicans will probably disagree with this viewpoint, Democrats will wholeheartedly support it.

Nevertheless, there is one thing in which Mr. Obama does obviously outdo his Republican opposition – a thing which can be measured objectively. This is that he inspired much more passion in 2007 than any of the Republican candidates currently running. When Mr. Obama walks into the room, the crowd roars in excitement. Some supporters yell, “Barack, Barack.” Host Jon Stewart then starts the interview by noting:

You…The effect you have on a crowd, it is, it’s unusual for a politician. You do have…there is a certain inspiration quality to you.

It’s difficult to imagine anything similar happening with any Republican candidate currently running. People do not yell “Michele, Michele” during Congresswoman Michele Bachmann’s interviews.

This is one advantage that President Barack Obama seems to have; even in 2010, on the eve of massive Democratic losses, Mr. Obama was able to draw crowds of 35,000 to his rallies.

Republicans will gleefully point out that they won anyways, and that passion alone does not win elections. There is a lot of truth to this; one passionate voter is worth the same as one voter who could care less.

But at the very least, it is better to have passionate supporters than not to have them.

 

Mitt Romney’s Fundamental Problem

By: Inoljt, http://mypolitikal.com/

Mitt Romney has a big problem.

It’s not “Romneycare.”

It’s not his Mormonism.

It’s not his shifting positions on social issues, such as abortion.

All the above are merely symptoms of Mr. Romney’s big problem.

Mr. Romney, simply put, is just not a very good politician. Americans take a look at him, and they just don’t like him on a personal, instinctual level. They then find a reasonable – or perhaps not so reasonable – rationalization to explain why they don’t like him. He’s fake. He doesn’t have much in common with the average American. He’s a flip-flopper. He’s Mormon. Romneycare. Etc.

This is the same problem John Edwards had running for president. There was nothing specifically which Mr. Edwards did wrong; he said all the right things, he had all the right credentials. But voters just didn’t like Mr. Edwards; on some level they felt uncomfortable with him. Eventually the media came up with stories tapping into this gut discomfort: Edwards was insincere, Edwards got incredibly expensive hair cuts, etc.

Back in the 2008 presidential primaries, Republican analyst Jay Cost wrote a revealing post:

[Mitt Romney's] candidacy has been the most transparently strategic this cycle. McCain is up? Go after McCain. McCain is down? Leave McCain alone. Thompson enters the race and seems a threat? Take a cheap shot about Law and Order. Thompson fades? Ignore him. Rudy is up? Go after Rudy. Huckabee is up? Go after Huck. You need to win a Republican primary? Make yourself the most socially conservative candidate in the race. And on and on and on.

If somebody asked me which candidate on the Republican side has won just a single election (in a year that his party did very well nationwide) — I would answer Mitt Romney, even knowing nothing about anybody’s biography. This kind of transparency is, to me, a sign of political inexperience. He’s only won one election, and it shows.

…Romney’s campaign is, I must say, the least authentic seeming of any on the GOP side…Unlike Kerry-Edwards, the Romney campaign knows how to stay on script. That is not its problem. Its problem is that the script changes are obviously induced by its standing in the polls. There is little subtlety to the Romney campaign. Too much of what it does is obviously strategic.

Mr. Romney’s 2008 campaign went on underperform expectations significantly. Mr. Romney promised to win Iowa and then lost to Mike Huckabee. He went on to New Hampshire and then lost again, this time to John McCain. Mr. Romney’s sole victory came in Michigan. After that, his campaign lost yet another contest to John McCain in Florida. On Super Tuesday, Mr. Romney’s campaign promised to sweep the South and win states from California to Illinois to New York. As it turned out, Mr. Romney came in third place in many southern states, and lost badly in states like California, Illinois, and New York.

Were Mr. Romney to be a better politician, none of his current weaknesses would matter. Good politicians can and have overcome significantly more daunting obstacles than Mr. Romney currently faces. John F. Kennedy was a Catholic at a time of heavy anti-Catholic sentiment. Ronald Reagan was exceptionally old. Bill Clinton cheated on his wife – and got caught doing so. Barack Obama was a black liberal from the inner-city. Yet all still were successfully elected president.

If Mr. Romney were a good politician, he too would be able to overcome anti-Mormon sentiment and “Romneycare.” The problem is that he is not.

 

 

Mitt Romney’s Fundamental Problem

By: Inoljt, http://mypolitikal.com/

Mitt Romney has a big problem.

It’s not “Romneycare.”

It’s not his Mormonism.

It’s not his shifting positions on social issues, such as abortion.

All the above are merely symptoms of Mr. Romney’s big problem.

Mr. Romney, simply put, is just not a very good politician. Americans take a look at him, and they just don’t like him on a personal, instinctual level. They then find a reasonable – or perhaps not so reasonable – rationalization to explain why they don’t like him. He’s fake. He doesn’t have much in common with the average American. He’s a flip-flopper. He’s Mormon. Romneycare. Etc.

This is the same problem John Edwards had running for president. There was nothing specifically which Mr. Edwards did wrong; he said all the right things, he had all the right credentials. But voters just didn’t like Mr. Edwards; on some level they felt uncomfortable with him. Eventually the media came up with stories tapping into this gut discomfort: Edwards was insincere, Edwards got incredibly expensive hair cuts, etc.

Back in the 2008 presidential primaries, Republican analyst Jay Cost wrote a revealing post:

[Mitt Romney's] candidacy has been the most transparently strategic this cycle. McCain is up? Go after McCain. McCain is down? Leave McCain alone. Thompson enters the race and seems a threat? Take a cheap shot about Law and Order. Thompson fades? Ignore him. Rudy is up? Go after Rudy. Huckabee is up? Go after Huck. You need to win a Republican primary? Make yourself the most socially conservative candidate in the race. And on and on and on.

If somebody asked me which candidate on the Republican side has won just a single election (in a year that his party did very well nationwide) — I would answer Mitt Romney, even knowing nothing about anybody’s biography. This kind of transparency is, to me, a sign of political inexperience. He’s only won one election, and it shows.

…Romney’s campaign is, I must say, the least authentic seeming of any on the GOP side…Unlike Kerry-Edwards, the Romney campaign knows how to stay on script. That is not its problem. Its problem is that the script changes are obviously induced by its standing in the polls. There is little subtlety to the Romney campaign. Too much of what it does is obviously strategic.

Mr. Romney’s 2008 campaign went on underperform expectations significantly. Mr. Romney promised to win Iowa and then lost to Mike Huckabee. He went on to New Hampshire and then lost again, this time to John McCain. Mr. Romney’s sole victory came in Michigan. After that, his campaign lost yet another contest to John McCain in Florida. On Super Tuesday, Mr. Romney’s campaign promised to sweep the South and win states from California to Illinois to New York. As it turned out, Mr. Romney came in third place in many southern states, and lost badly in states like California, Illinois, and New York.

Were Mr. Romney to be a better politician, none of his current weaknesses would matter. Good politicians can and have overcome significantly more daunting obstacles than Mr. Romney currently faces. John F. Kennedy was a Catholic at a time of heavy anti-Catholic sentiment. Ronald Reagan was exceptionally old. Bill Clinton cheated on his wife – and got caught doing so. Barack Obama was a black liberal from the inner-city. Yet all still were successfully elected president.

If Mr. Romney were a good politician, he too would be able to overcome anti-Mormon sentiment and “Romneycare.” The problem is that he is not.

 

 

The Biggest Threat to President Barack Obama’s Re-election Chances

Almost everybody agrees that President Barack Obama’s re-election chances depend almost exclusively on one thing: the state of the American economy. If, for instance, unemployment is below 7% by November 2012, Mr. Obama could very well win a Reagan-style blow-out. If, on the other hand, unemployment is still in double-digits by November 2012, Mr. Obama may as well kiss his re-election chances goodbye.

The second scenario would probably occur in the event of another recession. The greatest danger, therefore, to the president’s re-election chances would be something that would hurt the economy badly enough to knock it back into recession.

What could cause such an event?

There are a number of possibilities, ranging from the very unlikely to the frighteningly possible. The latter – “the frighteningly possible” – actually has occupied the front pages of newspapers for almost a year. This is the continuing European debt crisis, which started with Greece, moved to Ireland, and is currently searching for its next victim.

The worst case scenario would involve a country such as Italy – the world’s seventh largest economy – going bankrupt, or a collapse of the euro (and with it, the European Union). Such scenarios are far-fetched, but quite within the realm of possible. They are what many analysts spend hours worrying about every day.

A bankruptcy of a major European country, such as Spain or Italy, would do major damage to the United States. As Paul Krugman writes:

 

Nor can the rest of the world look on smugly at Europe’s woes. Taken as a whole, the European Union, not the United States, is the world’s largest economy; the European Union is fully coequal with America in the running of the global trading system; Europe is the world’s most important source of foreign aid; and Europe is, whatever some Americans may think, a crucial partner in the fight against terrorism. A troubled Europe is bad for everyone else.

Indeed, the United States has already experienced the consequences of Europe’s debt troubles, minor as they may seem compared to the worst-case scenario. It is no coincidence that job growth, after increasing steadily in the spring of 2010, stalled right as Greece’s budget woes hit the front pages that summer.

The most troubling thing about all this, for Mr. Obama, is how little control he has over this event. It is Germany, not America, which holds the fate of the European Union in its hands; German decisions – or, more specifically, the decisions of German Chancellor Angela Merkel – will either save or destroy the European Union. Mr. Obama can successfully influence Germany; indeed, his behind-the-scenes lobbying was one factor behind the trillion-dollar European bail-out fund. But ultimately the fate of Europe, and with it the American economy, may lie in Germany’s hands.

And whither goes the American economy, so goes Mr. Obama’s re-election chances. In the end the president may lose re-election because of events thousands of miles away, over which he has precious little control, which seemingly have nothing to do with American politics.

--Inoljt, http://mypolitikal.com/

 

 

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