I’ve been active in national politics since Ronald Reagan’s great victory in 1980, and I can honestly say that I’ve never seen the TV pundits display the level of insanity and stupidity that we see today. Regrettably, this sentiment applies to the press on both sides of the political aisle.
Four years ago, everyone was complaining about the ridiculous length of the Presidential campaigns, each of which seemed to start the morning after the 2006 mid-term elections. The media – with justification – was comparing it to the far shorter campaigns seen in other major democracies. By the time October 2008 rolled around, even a political junkie was praying for the finale of this seemingly unending ordeal. “Dear God,” I muttered every morning, “please bring this endless election to a merciful culmination.“
This time, the principal candidates rationally decided to shorten their campaigns, but they can’t win for losing. Ignoring their own complaints in 2007, the pundits relentlessly speculated about the delays and questioned the conviction of the candidates. Fox News, quoting “Republican sources,” reported that Mitt Romney was debating when he would announce his candidacy. This was right after Romney held a series of well-publicized meetings with potential fundraisers in which he presented a schedule of his activities leading up to his formal entry into the campaign. I posted a comment on Bret Baier’s Facebook page telling him he needs some new “Republican sources,” because the ones being used are way out of touch.
Then there is the insanity centered on which Republicans are running. Sure, I’d love to see Paul Ryan, Marco Rubio or Chris Christie in the race, but all three have said that they won’t be running this time. One of them should be the Vice-Presidential nominee which will definitely electrify the base.
There are at least three candidates – Governors Pawlenty, Huntsman, and Romney – who can win. America may not know who they are now, but they certainly will by next March. By early June, 2012 the nominee will have sufficient name-recognition and stature to take on an incumbent President. As long as none of the aforementioned went to the Schwarzenegger School of Family Relations, each has an excellent shot at defeating Obama on November 6, 2012.
The Democratic pundits have started to argue that none of these potential Republicans candidates has foreign relations experience. It’s not as if the Senator from Illinois had any in 2008, unless you consider his time in Indonesia as a toddler. In addition, I think it’s fair to say that Obama hasn’t really done such a boffo job – after all, the world is in a chaotic state and he hasn’t done a thing to solve any of the problems. Other than killing Bin Laden -- while admirable -- he has absolutely no other foreign policy accomplishments. There isn’t a single foreign leader with whom he has developed a strong relationship. He is too aloof and impersonal, and all of them know that Obama never met a promise that he couldn’t break.
There is the one issue that really counts – the economy – and Obama has a record that only Jimmy Carter would envy. Here are the salient points:
1) The housing market is and will continue to be in shambles. Obama’s policies have done nothing to solve the problem, and most analysts feel that they’ve only made it worse.
2) Employment is stagnant and his policies have done nothing other than discourage job-creation. No one believes that the unemployment rate will be below 8%, and that on its own could be deadly.
3) Most people are very concerned about the ridiculous budget deficits, and almost everyone understands that they are unsustainable. In fact, everyone gets it except for Obama and his cohorts in Congress. Even if the Republicans force spending cuts down his throat, the deficit will still be over a trillion dollars.
4) The continuing deficit, along with a reckless fiscal policy, has caused the resurgence of inflation. Rapidly-rising gas and food prices are eating up the average paycheck for those who still have a job. There is no remedy in sight, even as this President keeps spending at unaffordable levels and prints fake money to pay for it.
5) The Youth Vote will continue to stray from Obama as two more years of college and high school graduates enter a bleak jobs market. They may have thought he was cool in 2008, but money talks and some had higher aspirations than being baristas.
Finally, the Republican candidate will have to compete against a President who, according to the pundits, will have a billion dollars to spend on his reelection. Let’s see him raise it. Frankly, I don’t believe he can. I keep on reading about industries that have pulled away from Obama. Four years ago, he was (to many people) a ray of hope, but now he has his dismal track record to defend. Wall Street donated profusely to Obama in 2008, but they have been blind-sided by him and are pulling back. Jews have repeatedly been slapped in the face, and, even though some clueless liberals will help him raise money, that pipeline is going to be significantly diminished. His only hope to raise a billion dollars is if George Soros and Peter Lewis (Progressive Insurance) write him very, very large checks.
I am a betting man and I am betting that virtually any Republican – except a loon like Ron Paul – can send Obama back to Chicago in November 2012. America will have endured four years of this disastrous experiment, and we will have a new President.