Per Bob’s request I include this post as my final in the series on the candidates
President Barack Obama of Hawaii Former Senator from Illinois
The Case for:
1. incumbency: There is almost no substitute for the power of incumbency in terms of the strength of a candidate. It also means he has 4 years actually doing the job so he has a perspective no other candidate (with the possible exception of Mrs. Clinton does.
2. History: ?Barack Obama was the fist Black President of the US when elected and will be no less the first black president on election day 2012.
3. MSM: No president, not even Bill Clinton has had a media more in the tank for him. Nina Burleigh’s knee pads could be distributed to the entire press corps.
4. Immediate Family Obama’s has a beautiful wife (and yes she IS beautiful) and two nice kids and seriously you have to feel for a guy who has his mother-in-law living in the white house (I suspect SNL will wait until re-election to do skits on it).
5. Speaking: With a teleprompter this president can deliver a rousing speech, since most speeches will be made this way it is less of a handicap than you might think.
6. Looks: Your years in office have not stripped him of his appearance. Don’t underestimate what looks can do for a candidate..
7. Birth Certificate/Natural Born stuff: This White House would love to spend every day talking about his birth certificate and “natural-born” instead of the economy and there appears to be a cottage industry that wants to oblige them.
8. Bin Laden: The covert operations of this administration is a legitimate achievement. No matter what you think of Obama he will always be the President who got Bin Laden.
9. No successful attacks: It’s less of an achievement compared to the Bush administration post 9/11 but the first job of a president is to guard the Homeland and Obama has managed it.
10. Money and Campaign: Not only will Obama have one of the largest war chests in history but he has a campaign team that ran one of the best campaigns, primary and general election I’ve ever seen in 2008.
The Case Against:
1. Obamacare: This has been the single most unpopular program passed in my memory. Even with an overwhelming Democratic Majority it passed by the slimmest margins and inspired the right like nothing else.
2. Leadership: Obama has been a lead by the back president. He has not given congressional allies any cover or direction content to let democrats spin on their own.
3. Respect President Bush was not loved by many foreign leaders but he and the United States were respected and feared by them. I have never seen a president less feared or respected by foreign leaders
4. Economy: A president is judged by the economy he presides under. This president policies have not only failed to bring relief to the people but has even failed to meet its own goals.
5. Base: The president has disappointed his base over and over again to the point where finds himself doing stunts like the moves against the Catholic Church and Keystone in the hope of energizing them even as they alienate the swing voters that he has to have for re-election.
6. Hype: No leader every came into office with greater fanfare, expectations and hype. Even if had more solid achievements he still would not have risen to the level of near deity that the media held him to.
7. Gas Prices: This countries lives and dies by Gas Prices and they have doubled under Obama. If gas is over $3 a gallon on election day he will lose PERIOD.
8. Scandals: Fast and Furious though ignored by the media is a huge scandal and the green boondoggles such as Solyndra will hurt. With a media even slightly less in the tank these would be fatal as it is they will still hurt.
9. Deficit: Obama’s spending dwarfs every other American president, in fact his deficits might outdo all of them combined in the end.
10. Coat tails: I’ve never seen so many candidates from a sitting president party run away from a man as I’ve seen run from Obama’s
Exculpatory evidence: He did inherit a big mess and when the GOP was in power it wasn’t all that anxious to curb spending. The Iran issue was again one that the GOP didn’t solve they had the chance. Once he became aware of actual threats it was impossible to satisfy his base on Gitmo and although he bears some blame for the hype it was the media that turned him into a demigod.
Conclusion: For reasons I can’t understand the entire MSM and a big chunk of the GOP is afraid of this guy. I can’t see why. He has a lousy economy, he has gas prices through the roof and people still hate Obamacare. Just about every American has lived through three years of bad times and this more than anything else will be on their minds. You can’t sell hope with the same package twice in a row. His biggest asset is the timidity of the opposition against him and a GOP Establishment who would prefer to lose to him if it means the purse strings will still be loose for them to get their cut.
My Biggest fear: This whole American’s United stuff. I suspect it is all about allowing Obama fundraisers to funnel big money to make sure there are 3rd party challenges to face him.
My Hunch: I suspect Obama is going to do some short terms moves to try to depress Gas prices just long enough to make a difference. I also expect the Senate Democrats to try to pin the GOP house on the payroll tax again. They figure it’s Romney so it will be the full class warfare business.
My advice to the Obama Campaign: The best thing he can do is to have a national parade and celebration of the troops return home. He should do it but that to be as invisible about it as possible. Let your presence be incidental. That will remind everyone of your successes without you pushing it. Also consider a school choice bill on a temporary basis say 2 years. That will make a huge difference in a black community that feels betrayed and a temp measure will be tolerated by the teachers union. These are your best chance to energize the people you need without reminding them of why they can’t stand you.