Jason OMahony - Irish political blogger, Irish politics, EU politics
 

How Barack Obama will be beaten in 2012.

Posted by Jason O on Jun 16, 2012 in US Politics |

"My friends, a few minutes ago I rang my opponent..."

"My friends, a few minutes ago I rang my opponent..."

I wrote this blog posting one year ago. I have decided to repost it with minimum change because I think it is still valid.

I am a committed Obama supporter. If I were a US citizen, helping to re-elect the president would be a project I would be devoting huge chunks of my free time to, because I have finally come across a candidate whose values I broadly agree with. Yet at this moment in time, I believe that President Obama is the underdog who will probably lose, and here’s why:

1. His victory in 2008 was a much greater freak result than people realise, as he was given an artificial bounce by the meltdown of the banking sector and the fact that John McCain struggled to separate himself from a deeply unpopular president. Also, McCain’s nomination of Sarah Palin was a one month wonder which turned into a drag on the ticket. Finally, John McCain’s journey from Arnie Vinick rebel loved by independent voters to Nasty John was only reversed in his election night speech. If that John McCain had turned up for the election (with Joe Lieberman as his Florida based for the duration running mate), it would have been much closer.

2. The African-American vote, which voted 95% for the president, will not be as high next year. You can’t make history doing the same thing twice. Polls currently put it at 77%.

3. Florida, Ohio, Virgina and North Carolina are where it’s all at, and with the exception of Virginia and Ohio, are within the margin of error and can be taken with a reasonable swing to the GOP. Florida will most likely go GOP because of the president’s tough-ish line with Israel. In short, if Ohio and Florida end up in the red column, in the normal scheme of things it’s game over.

4. The Bin Laden thing is well-eaten bread.

5. The economy. The American people do not re-elect a president who does not get unemployment down.

Having said all that, it’s not impossible. If the economy recovers, if he gets US troops out of Afghanistan, and if ObamaCare gets a chance to start functioning then he’s got a chance. Bear in mind that the GOP claimed in 2008 that he wasn’t experienced enough to be president. They can’t play that card now. The GOP in the house will do their utmost to stop it there, and there’s a good chance that SCOTUS will overturn it, but is that a good or bad thing for the president? Is the Supreme Court beginning to look like the judicial wing of the Republican Party?

Don’t forget that Mitt Romney has recovered a lot of the middle ground from the primaries, and if he can get the Anyone But Obama thing going, it’s game over.

Our boy is behind, but he’s a fighter.

4 Comments

Michael
Jun 14, 2011 at 9:31 am

I strongly suspect he will be re-elected. He has proven himself a very capable president. His first term has helped him drop most of the negatives of his first campaign; inexperience, lacking substance, weak on national security.

The best indication that he is heading for a victory is the weakness of the Republican field. Many able would-be Republican candidates are staying out of the race because they know Obama will be very difficult to beat. I think his supporters will come out again in strength- they know that the importance is not just in a symbolic first election, but in a re-election so that his progressive policies can be consolidated and built upon. None of his supporters from 2008 want his presidency to be remember in the same way that Jimmy Carter’s was.

He will be getting my vote- again.

In November 2008 Obama quickly shifted from campaign mode to governing mode- he is in the process of shifting back, he is a very impressive campaigner with a very strong team supporting him.


 
Cinnedy
Jun 14, 2011 at 11:00 am

If Obama is behind, exactly _who_ is he behind? The current GOP line-up does not have strong candidates which can count on the support of the various factions that make up the typical Republican voters. It’ll be difficult to see who can pull it together in time to face the Obama electoral machine.

I think that it’ll be close, mostly because Obama won’t be able to win over voter apathy like he did last time. Even so, he’ll be re-elected easily.


 
Sean
Jun 17, 2011 at 11:59 pm

Obama is not a sure thing and Romney if selected could take a few traditional blue states Michigan New Hampshire and even Mass. and aas you say some traditional red states which went to Obama could go back to red very easyily. Seemingly Obama held a fundraiser in Florida with a price tag of 50 dollars a head, he couldn’t fill it, thats a bad sign!


 
Jason O
Jun 30, 2012 at 8:17 am

But is it really that bad that a leader of a country has people outside that country who admire him? Some in the GOP almost sneer at the fact that Europeans like the president.
As for my being a Republican, I certainly could have been one in the past. Don’t forget, when I did run for election, I ran for the most economically conservative party in Ireland. I come from a pro-business background and I do get annoyed at the constant attack on wealth creation. But today’s GOP is not the GOP of Eisenhower or Nixon or Rockefeller or George Romney or even George H W Bush. On immigration, equality for gays, religion, this is a party primarily based on having a whipping boy just as ludicrous as the far left have with wealth creators. And don’t get me started on healthcare or taxes. Why are the GOP willing to spend billions on defending Americans from terrorist attack but not cancer? I have made not insignificant money throughout my life, and I pay high taxes for that, and you know what? I can live with that. I get angry about it being misspent, I get my accountant to get my liability as low as possible, but I certainly don’t believe that in the current climate I should get a tax cut. Then there is the fundamental flaw at the heart of GOP logic on taxes: if you give very wealthy people a tax cut they will use it to create jobs. They don’t need that money to create jobs, because businesspeople (and I know something about this) do not create jobs to create jobs. They create jobs to make money, and if they can’t fund it themselves they get the money elsewhere, from other people who will lend it to them to make money too. The difference is that if you give poor people money they spend it on paying bills, which puts money into circulation. If there is one thing the poor are never short of, it’s bills. I could not be a Republican because the GOP seem to regard people on welfare as grasping, wicked and lazy. Show me a GOP ad where “welfare” is not a trigger phrase. There are some on the public teat who are milking it, but most are struggling to get by. We have a pretty generous welfare system in Ireland, and yes, there are people who believe in an entitlement culture and that needs to be fought as in the US, but they are a minority. I don’t walk past some poor bastard begging in the street and think “Look at this parasite on my back!”. Finally. Joe, I’m no longer a Catholic but I am a Christian. I still pray and believe I will have to account for my actions, and how we treat those at the bottom of our society is surely the greatest measure of that.


 

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