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2012 Presidential Election Starts Now

Obama's election has Republicans excited. Seriously.

The election of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States probably invoked more emotion and more varied sentiment across the country than any presidential election before. His supporters were joyous and Democratic party members were smiling across the land. But I’ll have you know that politicians who agree with none of his politices nor identify with his party were also excited and intrigued. Allow me to explain.

If Obama’s election energized a populace who now had validation of the thought that any American can be president, how do you think a deepening field of possible 2012 Republican candidates feel? Obama is the new president in 2009 but no one even knew he existed before 2004 and he didn’t figure prominently in the public consciousness until 2007. Think about that. The leader of the free world could have gone to 7-11 for a slurpee with no security two years ago and now he is shaking hands at the G-8 summit with world leaders.

This Fox poll from Real Clear Politics shows that Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney are the current “leaders” for 2012 with Sarah Palin a close third. Frankly, I find it comical if anyone thinks those three will be the leaders when it all comes down to it. I think one of them will be in the conversation if they’re lucky.

Obama declared his candidacy on a cold February day among little fanfare.

Obama declared his candidacy on a cold February day among little fanfare.

Obama came on to the stage when many Americans were fed up with the previous administration. He came with a fresh set of ideas and a different political approach. He had undeniable gifts but he also embodied two things. ‘Different’ and ‘change’. Literal change.

Now Obama must recover from a recession and a myriad of problems. He and his administration have time to do so but if it doesn’t happen by 2012 the presidency will be ripe for the taking. Look at the poll again. Americans have ideas about what those three Republican candidates bring to the table. If someone new and fresh comes with ideas that can be described the same way, then Huck, Mitt and Sarah will be in some trouble. Game on.

  1. Rob
    July 28, 2009 at 2:55 pm

    I keep seeing shirts and stickers online that say:

    You need a Carter to get a Reagan…. 2012?
    (With a picture of Obama.)

    Americans threw a pre-teen like temper tantrum when they elected that marxist empty suit. Unfortunately, we get the government that only those myrmidons deserve.

    I think that the GOP candidate in 2012 will be none of those three that everyone is talking about now. Having seen clowns like Bill Clinton and Barry Obama come out of nowhere I have learned not to think that I can predict that sort of thing.

    Conservatives need to play their cards right and listen to people like Levin and ignore non-conservatives like Lindsay Graham and John McCain.

    If they want to unseat President Urkel, the GOP has to avoid people who are too religious, like Huckabee and probably Jindal.

    • Adrian Carrasquillo
      July 28, 2009 at 5:41 pm

      Rob and Mike, I appreciate the comments and the smart commentary from both of you. But I think there is an important thing to remember. Too often in today’s society there is a rush to proclaim things, a rush to categorize and make definitive statements before all of the information is out there. I think those polls mean nothing. Right now the stimulus and Obama’s term aren’t looking too good but it’s early. If the country is out of the recession by 2011 he will most likely be reelected. That is what usually happens if a decently successful incumbent is running. Clearly, if he fails to right the economic ship he is in big trouble but if there’s a question as to if his policies have/are working and how much economic progress has been made then it will be a question of who’s spin Americans believe. Democrats who say things have improved and are looking up or Republicans who say there has been little progress and way too much money spent. In the end, economies are cyclical. George Bush 41 was the president when the economy was starting to look better but Clinton convinced Americans that the country was in a recession.

      As for the 2012 Republican field, I think speaking strictly from a strategic stand point Republicans lose the 2012 election if Palin wins Iowa and then the buzz leads to her winning the nomination. I don’t think American politics will be electing anyone far right or far left anytime soon.

      P.S. A wildcard with Obama’s reelection chances are and always will be a terrorist attack. If he is viewed as a 50/50 President, but he kept the country safe, he will probably win. If not he surely loses.

      • Mike K
        July 29, 2009 at 12:37 am

        To steals a Simmons call….Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh Adrian!

        I think to remind us that it is too early to judge Obama is a little ironic considering your post is about the 2012 election and it is 2009. If your argument is that things will be fixed by 2012 and what is going on now doesn’t really matter, then why post?

        But, I see your point. A poll today doesn’t mean much because so long to go…but, we’re here, and we’re talking, so…

        Couple things of note, Gammons style: Obama’s job approval rating over the past week has ranged from 49-52 percent. His personal, approval rating (basically, do you like him) has stayed in the 60s. To pretend like Americans are loving his policies at the moment is just that- pretending…The polling does matter for 2010 which will directly affect the ability of Obama to be reelected- currently, the generic Republican congressman is beating the generic Democrat, and the public now trust the GOP with more key issues…

      • Adrian Carrasquillo
        July 29, 2009 at 12:56 am

        If we’re channeling Simmons and JackO then…hey Willy.
        Very simply, Mike I wasn’t arguing for Obama. He very well could end up in trouble at the end of his term. I said 2012 starts now for challengers. The incumbent has the advantage(unless he ends up an unmitigated disaster) So I wasn’t making the argument, that things will be better, but if they do improve then it won’t matter who the challenger is.

        So to reiterate, I’m not disagreeing with you, I just think things could change. And those polls you keep trumpeting, I think they have dubious significance because I’ve never seen a candidate named Generic Democrat run against one named Generic Republican. People and politices matter. If Republicans make huge gains in the midterm elections, then Obama will be shot in the foot even more however. And if he is and things continue to look grim then the Republican candidates can be geniunely excited about running against a flawed incumbent.

  2. Mike K
    July 28, 2009 at 4:39 pm

    Listening to people like Levin will play great with the small, hardcore conservative base of the party- not so much with the rest of the country. A person who plays extremely tight to a base always makes independents uncomfortable- there is no way such a person would unseat a sitting president, who the general public has familiarity with.

    John McCain and Lindsay Graham typically register a ‘conservative’ rating of 80-95 percent, depending on the session. Are they social conservatives? Not always. Are they fiscal conservatives? For the most part. Does labeling people like them as non-conservatives shrink your party to about 15% of the general population? You betcha.

    As for the current president, let’s also not kid ourselves on the reason he was elected- he was a fresh personality, but he did not bring any fresh ideas to the table. His platform was a slightly modified version of John Edwards, and what made him successful was he was able to use social media better than other candidates and could read a teleprompter better than anyone.

    He’s ripe for the taking in 2012- already, his approval rating is below 50% according to Rasmussen, and health care reform (now called “health insurance reform”) is not playing out well in battleground states. Obama’s best chance of seeing an encore term is to get to run against someone in the Palin mode, someone who has a strong core base and little else.

  3. Rob
    July 28, 2009 at 5:24 pm

    We can agree that Palin would lose to Obama and we can certainly agree that Obama is vulnerable as, unlike Clinton in 1993/4, his hard-core ideology will probably prevent him from moving toward the center.

    But we may not agree about the narrowness of the base that would respond well to the flavor of conservatism that Levin espouses, for example, in his newest book. It’s not the social crap at all, which is where the GOP loses people. There are too many non-philosophically-liberal voters who vote against the GOP because they perceive them as a bunch of busybody moralists.

    I submit that there are a ton of conservative minded but completely non-religious people out here like me who would vote for a GOP candidate if they would just stop wearing their religion on their sleeve and act a little more libertarian socially. After voting Libertarian as a younger man, for the last decade I just vote against the bigger socialists, which means a vote for the GOP.

    We need someone more like Goldwater or Reagan and less like Bush43 or Huck or Palin or Jindal. Just my $.02, I want to make Obama a one-termer as much as you do.

  4. kii?
    July 30, 2009 at 4:39 pm

    i have several questions.

    one – is rob a pseudonym for sean hannity? in which case, kudos to you sean for using this blog to express your views.

    two – i feel like i am an educated person, but even i am confused as to how obama is a marxist. if mr hannity can explain that to me, i would love to know. i have never heard him say anything about how the working class has to rise up and destroy the bourgeoisie, but i have heard him talk about help for small business owners, as well as large corporations like GM. So certainly, if anything, he is for the good of the bourgeoisie, and yet this seems to conflict with his marxist label. so please, explain it to me like i am 5.

    three – if you can also explain to me how reagan was a great president, i would LOVE to know. i dont remember his presidency because i was too young, but from what i have read, it seems like he gave us a huge deficit, a financial system in ruin (look up the housing bubble and banks failing in the late 80s, it will sound CRAZY familiar), wiffed on AIDS, allowed the creation of huge corporations and unprecedented greed in the 80s, sold weapons to dictators, and f-ed the american unions. if that sounds like heaven to you, then you sir are confused.

    BTW, didnt the GOP learn that BIPARTISANSHIP is what americans love? when the GOP gets its act in order, and some smart fella (or fair lady) figures out that working with democrats on issues is more important that running a smear campaign against a president that 60+% of americans like, that is when we will know who their candidate will be.

    • Rob
      July 30, 2009 at 5:34 pm

      Allow me to answer your questions, kii?

      one – No, Rob is not a pseudonym for Sean Hannity. If you scroll up just a couple of posts, to the one that starts with “We can agree that…,” you can see that I identify myself as completely non-religious. If you know anything about Hannity beyond the basic hard-left “Hannity is the anti-christ” talking points you know that he is very religious so perhaps that provides an answer.

      two – I do see that I made the mistake of using too specific a subterm when I have been instead making an effort use the larger umbrella term of “collectivist”, which includes its varying degrees and styles called marxism or socialism or communism or maoism. So in that opening reply to this blog entry I should have more correctly said “when they elected that collectivist empty suit,” though I argue that general collectivism and marxism differ only in degree but not in kind. I wrote a short piece last week about these labels that you might like (or not):

      To the Reagan stuff, I have had many a discussion with people under 30 whose “knowledge” of Reagan’s presidency comes right out of the Democrat Talking Points. Sure, he had his flaws, but to your points:

      “he gave us a huge deficit” – Surely you know that the House spends the money and you know that the Democrats held the House for the entire Reagan presidency. Though I was barely a teen, I was there. Reagan cut taxes during the recession, sticking to his guns when even some of his aides wanted to bail. The tax cuts stimulated the economy and revenues *increased*, but the legislative branch spent something like a buck-twenty for every additional dollar in revenues. Many people think that the capital created in the 80s Reagan boom helped finance the technology boom of the 90s.

      “financial system in ruin… sound CRAZY familiar” – some deregulation was indeed not good back then and there were some bipartisan roles in that and some scandals. I remember that it was pretty scary seing the banks close on the news. But surely you know that a huge part of our *recent* financial crises were caused not by lack of regs but by govt regulations that required a certain percentage of sub-prime loans, with the mammoth quasi-govt orgs of Freddie and Fannie creating and feeding a market in bad loans for feel-good PC purposes.

      “allowed the creation of huge corporations and unprecedented greed in the 80s” – I am not sure that you and I share the same Constitutional understanding of the role of the Executive in the American system. When you talk of a president preventing the creation of corporations and outlawing greed, you are describing more of a… tyrant.

      I hope that I respectfully answered your questions.

  5. Eric
    July 30, 2009 at 7:50 pm

    Maybe Kii is a pseudonym for keith olbermann?

    • Rob
      July 31, 2009 at 10:53 am

      If so he probably popped a vein when he read my reply.

      That Olberman is a piece of work.

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