Thursday, September 29, 2011

Political Musings

I have largely avoided politics over the last few weeks. I am extremely disappointed in President Obama. Not because of what he has done, but by what he has not done. He had a clear mandate and could have pushed through liberal/progressive policies that really could have changed the nation, but he has bent over backward to try to appease Republicans. The end result is that we have been largely stuck with Bush's economic policies and homeland security/war strategies.

It is no surprise to me that the economic conditions have not improved enough to generate jobs. There has been significant improvement from where President Obama started from - largely as a result of the Stimulus - but President Obama has not been more bold and has largely adopted the horribly misguided tax policies of Republicans.

All that said, I have no idea who the Republican will be who challenges the President. Perry and Bachmann are complete idiots. The Republican establishment has decided to never allow Ron Paul to win. Cain actually won the Florida straw poll, but has no real chance. Newt and Santorum are joke candidates. I personally like Jon Huntsman but he barely registers because he is too moderate for Republican voters. In the end, the only candidate that makes any sense or who could truly beat President Obama is Mitt Romney. He has the look and the chops to win, but he is Mormon and seems to be despised by large swaths of Republican voters. Whoever wins the nomination is likely to be a weak candidate given the field and the way the Republicans seem to be splintered. President Obama may end up winning by default rather than because of his leadership and vision.

3 comments:

matar-alloo said...

It's strange how they just push Ron Paul down. He seems to make the most sense to me out of the Republican candidates. But I actually like what I've heard so far from Buddy Roemer. I heard him speak on NPR and then he was on The Daily Show (or was it Colbert? I can't remember...) and I like his promise that he won't accept large donations from any person or corporation. Although that is honorable, I think it means, sadly, that he won't get the Republican nomination. But he seems passionate about fixing the system. Where have I heard that before??? Oh yeah...Obama said all that kind of stuff too.

The Unknown Professor said...

Speaking as your token "right wing" occasional reader, I think you've called it - it'll most likely be Romney as the Republican candidate. If Christie runs, he might be the one to excite the base, but I think it's too early for him (and his own comments about his unease about his ability to do the job may come back to haunt him).

While Romney doesn't exactly wowo many on the right end of the political spectrum, that's also the same group that truly despises Obama. So, a lot of this election will turn on turnout and a few other factors.

- Obama's core group isn't as excited about him this time around

- a significant number of voters in the independent camp voted for Obama because of this historic status as the first African American presidential candidate with a chance. Having done that, some of them will likely vote back to the R side this time around.

-Obama's negatives are in a range that we might see a preference cascade where a lot of people who have some misgivings but aren't willing to express them finally feel comfortable with 'Coming out'. If this happens, we could see BIG drops in his numbers. If this happens in the right time frame (6-8 months out from the election) and Mitt gets the nod, he would be well-positioned to pick up these voters.

-Finally, there's the economy. While we can argue about how much it's improved or how much Obama has played a part towards that end, it's hard to get reelected with unemployment numbers like these. Given his background (executive experience, lots of business experience, and good hair), Romney has a background that can be spun as a viable alternative.

Looking at which states are leaning R vs D and which are in play, my money is on Romney taking it. Maybe even Perry if he stops inserting his foot into his mouth.

However, there are still a few things that have to play out:

- Will Palin attention whore her way into a run? If so, that would siphon enough away from the far right to hand it to Obama.

-Will Christie run?

Finally, we're still a LONG way off - we still have a good 6-8 months before the narratives get set. And as you know, the story that gets cast sometimes (maybe often) matters more than the actual facts.

-

Dennis said...

Rob,

About Mitt Romney you state " He has the look and the chops to win, but he is Mormon..."

Why do you feel the need to state that he is a Mormon?

Thanks, Dennis