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/

 

 

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/

 

 

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/

 

 

Tampa and the 2012 Republican National Convention

According to the Times, the Republican Party has just selected Tampa to host the 2012 Republican National Convention. Located in the vital swing state Florida, Republican intentions with this pick are fairly straightforward.

Not all national conventions take place in swing states. This impression may be due to 2008, when both parties held conventions in fairly competitive (or not, as it turned out) states. In 2004, however, Republicans held their convention in New York City; Democrats in Boston.

On the other hand, holding national conventions in swing states does constitute good strategy. After Democrats held their 2008 convention in Denver, Colorado ended up voting more Democratic than the nation for the first time since 1964. Likewise, the Minneapolis Republican convention helped Senator John McCain stay competitive in Minnesota weeks after Michigan and Wisconsin began moving Democratic. Choosing Tampa is another variation on this strategy.

Tampa, highly populated and fairly diverse, is a good place to hold a political convention. While the city itself probably votes fairly Democratic, the larger surrounding suburbs lean Republican. The convergence of these forces creates a very competitive environment. Hillsborough County, which Tampa is located in, has gone within single digits for the past five straight presidential elections. Whoever wins the Tampa area stands a good chance of winning the state.

Florida itself constitutes a Republican-leaning swing state. This is somewhat surprising; at first glance, Florida looks like a typical Democratic-voting state. Diverse, urbanized, and heavily populated, Florida has more in common with blue California and New York than red Alabama or Kansas. The state, moreover, is becoming more minority-heavy as white retirees are replaced by Latino immigrants.

Yet a number of factors combine to make Florida a red-leaning swing state rather than a blue stronghold. Deeply conservative northern Florida, which is more like rural Georgia than Miami, gives Republicans an immediate base. Many white voters are elderly, conservative-leaning retirees. And – unlike most immigrants – the Cuban immigrant community votes strongly Republican, undercutting the Democratic stronghold in South Florida.

Florida has even been drifting right in presidential elections. President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore performed respectably in the state, but Senator John Kerry lost by a sobering margin. Mr. McCain was particularly strong in Florida; he would have won the state by 4.4% given a tied electorate.

This is strange. By all rights, a place like Florida ought to be shifting Democratic, especially given its demographic changes (the opposite is true for much of the Rustbelt Midwest). Yet in the short-term the state has moving in the opposite direction.

When Republicans hold their convention in Tampa, they will attempt to keep Florida in this condition for another presidential election. It is a clever move by a clever party.

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

 

 

Tampa and the 2012 Republican National Convention

According to the Times, the Republican Party has just selected Tampa to host the 2012 Republican National Convention. Located in the vital swing state Florida, Republican intentions with this pick are fairly straightforward.

Not all national conventions take place in swing states. This impression may be due to 2008, when both parties held conventions in fairly competitive (or not, as it turned out) states. In 2004, however, Republicans held their convention in New York City; Democrats in Boston.

On the other hand, holding national conventions in swing states does constitute good strategy. After Democrats held their 2008 convention in Denver, Colorado ended up voting more Democratic than the nation for the first time since 1964. Likewise, the Minneapolis Republican convention helped Senator John McCain stay competitive in Minnesota weeks after Michigan and Wisconsin began moving Democratic. Choosing Tampa is another variation on this strategy.

Tampa, highly populated and fairly diverse, is a good place to hold a political convention. While the city itself probably votes fairly Democratic, the larger surrounding suburbs lean Republican. The convergence of these forces creates a very competitive environment. Hillsborough County, which Tampa is located in, has gone within single digits for the past five straight presidential elections. Whoever wins the Tampa area stands a good chance of winning the state.

Florida itself constitutes a Republican-leaning swing state. This is somewhat surprising; at first glance, Florida looks like a typical Democratic-voting state. Diverse, urbanized, and heavily populated, Florida has more in common with blue California and New York than red Alabama or Kansas. The state, moreover, is becoming more minority-heavy as white retirees are replaced by Latino immigrants.

Yet a number of factors combine to make Florida a red-leaning swing state rather than a blue stronghold. Deeply conservative northern Florida, which is more like rural Georgia than Miami, gives Republicans an immediate base. Many white voters are elderly, conservative-leaning retirees. And – unlike most immigrants – the Cuban immigrant community votes strongly Republican, undercutting the Democratic stronghold in South Florida.

Florida has even been drifting right in presidential elections. President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore performed respectably in the state, but Senator John Kerry lost by a sobering margin. Mr. McCain was particularly strong in Florida; he would have won the state by 4.4% given a tied electorate.

This is strange. By all rights, a place like Florida ought to be shifting Democratic, especially given its demographic changes (the opposite is true for much of the Rustbelt Midwest). Yet in the short-term the state has moving in the opposite direction.

When Republicans hold their convention in Tampa, they will attempt to keep Florida in this condition for another presidential election. It is a clever move by a clever party.

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

 

 

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