Jay Cost lays it out:
…The president can visit as many green companies as he likes. His team can put out as many strategy videos as it likes. It can organize its ground game in Virginia all day and all night. None of this is going to change the fundamentals of this upcoming election, which are:
1. The economy is substantially weaker for Obama than for other previous presidents who won reelection.
2. The deficit is now substantially higher than before.
3. His major domestic reform–Obamacare–is substantially more unpopular.
4. The American people are substantially more pessimistic.
That’s the state of the nation at this point. Nothing the Obama campaign can do at this point will affect any of these fundamentals–the hope is that its efforts will alter the public’s perceptions of these fundamentals, but it won’t. If we’ve learned anything in the last 50 years of the modern campaign, it’s that the billion dollar efforts of campaign technocrats, who now dominate our politics, cannot convince people that the sun rises in the west…
Which is all very true – and there is not much Obama can do to alter any of these fundamentals, nor much chance that events will correct one or more of them. Obama is pretty much in the fix he’s going to be in all through 2012. And so his plan it to raise a billion dollars, smear the GOP and hope that he can sucker people in to narrowly re-electing him (quite honestly, Obama and Co will take the narrowest of electoral college victories if that is all that can be done…the whole effort will be at securing 270 electoral votes). Cost, in his article, goes on to assert that if the fundamentals don’t change, Obama will lose – normally, I’d agree with that, but 2012 may be different.
I remember the 2002 California gubernatorial contest when the Democrats were carrying an unpopular governor who had a lousy economy as his record…and yet the Democrats managed to win. If ever there was an election the GOP should have won in a walk-over, it was the 2002 California election. What finally decided the contest was not the Democrat’s record, but the fact that the Democrats demonized the GOP candidate so savagely that they dispirited the GOP base while at the same time so turning Independents off that they stayed home. Democrat ground game plus voter registration advantage did the rest. To be sure, that governor – Gray Davis – was subsequently booted via recall, but for the Democrats the lesson was learned – just be as nasty as you can. Facts, logic and basic decency don’t matter…if you’ve got an unpopular incumbent who can’t run on his record, then just throw a political hand grenade and hope that out of the wreckage your man will come out on top. This, from what I can perceive, is the Obama re-election strategy.
The joker in the deck for Obama is the TEA Party movement – which despises him and lives for the day when he is defeated. He has to divide and/or otherwise deflate that movement. I don’t know if he can do it – if he can’t, then it won’t matter: if the economy is still bad and the TEA Party is still on fire, then Obama’s job in 2013 will be memoir writing. But Obama will try – and the entirety of the Ruling Class will be going to bat for him, including at least some of the Republican part of it (even if only in the form of snidely attacking a TEA Party-backed GOP nominee). For the Ruling Class the 2012 election isn’t about Obama – it is about ensuring that no one acceptable to the TEA Party becomes President. They fear that such a person will actually attack the system which causes our problems…thus throwing the Ruling Class out of their place at the trough.
I don’t know how 2012 will come out – I hope for the sake of the United States that Obama is defeated and, furthermore, that liberalism suffers a crushing loss nationally. I believe we can do this – but only if we fight very, very hard. Complete dedication of effort will be required – plus a unity between the center and right which has never been seen before. It is ok to attack GOPers – especially if they get off the Constitutional ranch – but always remember who we’re really fighting…save your hottest fire for Obama and the liberals. As for me, I’m happy and geared up and ready to go…