James Carville: No Republican can beat Obama

posted at 6:00 pm on February 21, 2012 by Tina Korbe

On Don Imus’ radio program this morning, CNN contributor James Carville boldly proclaimed that no Republican will beat Obama in 2012.

He didn’t say, though, that Barack Obama cannot lose. Oh, no. Events could conspire against him:

The only way the president will lose according to Carville is if some event takes place and changes things.  He maintained it wouldn’t be the result of the GOP nominee outshining Obama.

“Right now, things are starting to perk up a little bit,” he said. “Who knows? This is the — no Republican can beat Obama. Events can beat Obama. He’s not going to get beat by a Republican. Now events could come in and cause him to lose the election. But that’s it right now. That was not the case three months ago.”

“Events” like, oh, I don’t know, an uptick in foreclosures last month or persistently high unemployment (it’s climbing toward 9 percent again!)? Michael Gerson puts the president’s poor economic performance in perspective:

Unemployment has remained north of 8 percent for three years — the longest period since the Great Depression. Long-term unemployment is at its worst since 1948. The collapse in housing prices is worse than during the Great Depression. Since 2009 — when Obama predicted his stimulus package would raise 2 million people out of poverty — more than 6 million Americans have fallen into poverty. “The standard of living for Americans,” reports the Christian Science Monitor, “has fallen longer and more steeply over the past three years than at any time since the U.S. government began recording it five decades ago.”

Yikes. If it was true at the outset of the GOP primary season, it’s still true now: If the Republican nominee cannot beat Obama in this economy, then he deserves to lose.

Carville got two things right, though:

  1. “I’m out there speaking to [Republicans] and talking to them and they’re just, like, flinching,” Carville said. “‘God, what are we going to do, Mr. Carville?’ I’m like, ‘I don’t know, why ask me.’” Why is anyone asking him? Do people think he actually cares because his wife is a Republican or something?
  2. “You know what, he is — if this president, if I had anything in the world I would love to do? I would love to go to Las Vegas and stand by him at a craps table. ‘Mr. President, you just throw the dice. I’ve got my money on every roll,’” Carville said. “He’s a lucky, lucky, lucky guy.” Obama’s shrewd and ideologically driven, no doubt — but even he has to admit Lady Luck has loved on him more than she has on other upstart senators who presume they could be president with no experience. As the economy’s continually lackluster performance proves, though, his luck is running out — and Republicans stand ready to cash in when, in November, it finally does.

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