2012 Election

November 23, 2010

Email Exchange; Read from Bottom

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Me:

I am astonished by your negative outlook on outcomes I believe you would view as favorable. The GOP won’t have to make its picture of Obama the dominant one. Obama is going to do it for them. Just as Kerry did.

Like Obama Kerry succeeded in having his identity stick with the public. He is an elitist jerk (EJ) who thinks he’s always the smartest guy in the room. Democrats like to nominate these kind of guys. The only serious Democratic candidate over the past twenty years who didn’t portray himself as the smartest guy in the room is probably the only one of them who actually was: Bill Clinton.

After him the only one who gives him serious contention with him is Hillary. She’s not a good at not displaying it as Bill is. I have yet to find any evidence that Obama is all that smart. There isn’t evidence that he is dumb, but no one is calling him dumb. There are all sorts of people telling us he’s an intellectual giant. Yeah, then how come he needs teleprompters to address and sixth grade class?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/01/26/obama-teleprompter-sixth-grade-video_n_436406.html

Now, having said, that if I were a Democratic strategist I would have (and I thought of this at the time) played George Bush’s “Bring ’em On” line over and over and over and over again. With that strategy you could have put a border collie painted blue in the Oval Office.

The press was able to hide the fact Obama is an EJ during the campaign. Now everyone wonders why Obama can’t relate to the people. He never could relate to the people. No one figured that out because people were equating lines like “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for” with the freakin’ Gettysburg Address.

Obama beat Hillary because he wasn’t Hillary (and also, don’t forget) that her “seasoned” team didn’t really take the campaign seriously. Had she campaigned in the caucus states, then Hillary would have been the nominee, and, probably, President.

Not only was Obama not Hillary he wasn’t Obama. He wasn’t anything other than not Bush. He was the empty vessel in which voters could feel free upon which voters could project their hopes and dreams. He ain’t that anymore.

You can fool a conservative right nation to vote for Obama once, but you won’t be able to do it again. Perhaps, even if he’s running against a red border collie.

The thing about the “these guys” arguments I don’t take seriously is that both sides have the same kind of “these guys.” That way, no matter who wins, it’s always “these guys” who made the difference.

If “these guys” couldn’t figure out how to put a Democrat into Obama’s seat in Illinois, then they need to find some different guys. So, maybe those guys will make the difference in 2012.

If that’s not enough in a country where foreign policy doesn’t normally make a difference in two years Obama is going to have made us look so weak on the International stage Americans will be ashamed to look in the mirror. People don’t like that. So, any candidate who can even pretend to want to advance American interests will look good by comparison.

I just did a Google search to see what a border collie looks like. They’re kind of cute. I might vote for one in 2012.
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Friend:

I’ll concede that the Republicans should have an advantage in being able to define the President. He won’t be able to run away from his record. However, He doesn’t have to run on his record either. I have no confidence that the GOP will make its picture of Obama the dominant one.

I still scratch my head that GWB beat John Kerry — a complete failure on Kerry’s part to make his identity stick with the public. Looking at any reasonable parallels, I have to believe that GWB should have been toast. Incumbency is only a disadvantage if you don’t know how to work it.

Then Obama, who had served less than two years in the US Senate, introduced himself as the embodiment of hope. Knocking off Biden, Kucinich, et al was no great feat, but beating Her Royal Clintonness was actually something. McCain was past his prime and made dumb moves, but it still should have been closer. These guys know how to work the right constituencies, and they have no scruples about using the state’s coffers to buy support.

All of which takes me to the electorate. The anger, I suspect, is going to be tough to maintain. With Republican control of the House, it will be harder to foist all blame on the Democrats. I suspect the mud-slinging and partisanship will be as bad as ever. Individual voters will believe the narratives they prefer — and I fear that the next Obama narrative will be the People’s Champion and Eternal Outsider, thwarted by those greedy, corrupt Congressional Republicans. If a few more Blue Dogs lose their seats in the anti-Congressional fervor whipped by the President’s campaign, nobody at 1600 will lose any sleep.

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Me:

I’m not understanding the more skeptical part. Isn’t it harder to run against Congress when you control half of it? It’s Obama that’s proposing the Medicare cuts. That may or may not be good fiscal policy, but the politics of it will make it difficult to portray Republicans as the ones who are taking things away from the Public.

As Europe continues its financial self-destruction the public will be reminded that at some point debts need to be repaid. Obama can simultaneously be looked at as taking things away (Medicare) while he’s spending your great grandchildren’s inheritance. Not a politically enviable position.

The President can run against Congress, and the Congress can run against the President. If the President has a popular agenda, then the former is more likely. Our President can’t even conceive, no less propose, an agenda that would be popular with the American people.
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Another Friend:

***MORE*** skeptical ??!!!

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Friend:

I was just reading Krugman (no doubt part of my problem) and realized, “Hey, we don’t control the Senate.” Apparently I got caught up in the Red Wave that swept over Maine and forgot that the House and Senate are divided. I’m a little more skeptical now than I was fifteen minutes ago.

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Me:

I’ve read a lot of articles about Obama’s direction over the next two years. There are no indications he’s going to do a Clintonian triangulation. Everything he’s said since indicates his belief he wasn’t effective in communicating all the good he’s done for us.

Pelosi’s desire/success in hanging on to be the new minority leader tells the same story. She simply can not believe the policies she advocated are unpopular. Clearly, they didn’t go far enough. That’s why moderate Democrats lost in great numbers. There’s a certain delusional logic to it.

The Left is building up its morale with articles like this, likening Obama to Harry Truman.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ari-emanuel/post_1308_b_786617.html

They are also telling themselves it was those Republicans selling their votes to evil lobbyists. Why don’t Liberals subject themselves to the same warped scrutiny in regards to labor unions?

The fact that Pelosi and Reid are still in place will only help the Republicans hold onto the House and take the Senate in 2012. I don’t see Obama standing much of a chance, unless Palin gets the nomination.

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