Quotes of the day

posted at 10:37 pm on May 15, 2012 by Allahpundit

Fifty-six percent of Americans think Barack Obama will win the 2012 presidential election, compared with 36% who think Mitt Romney will win. Democrats are more likely to believe that Obama will win than Republicans are to believe Romney will. Independents are nearly twice as likely to think that Obama, rather than Romney, will prevail.

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The marginal factors in the past four or six weeks have looked slightly better for Mr. Romney than Mr. Obama. The recuperation in Mr. Romney’s favorability numbers, for instance — if it was somewhat to be expected — also reduces the risk that his personal qualities might cause him to lose an election that he otherwise would have won, as during another economic downturn.

Meanwhile, the tumultuous situation in Greece may increase the chance of an economic downside case for Mr. Obama. And data from the domestic economy has not been as strong lately. (Although it might also be mentioned that the situation in the Middle East is thought to be improving, and oil pries have receded somewhat.)

Put another way, if you are being very detail oriented, there is a case to be made that Mr. Romney’s odds of being elected have improved somewhat over the past six weeks.

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When pollsters call these voting blocs now, many people will likely proclaim their continued loyalty to the president.

They won’t be lying to pollsters about whom they really want to vote for. The issue will be whether they actually go to the booth and vote for Obama.

Many voted in 2008 with the desire to see racism and racists humiliated by having a qualified black man elected president. Especially after eight years of what was not, and still is not, perceived as a successful presidency.

Now, many of these same voters still feel an allegiance to Obama — and he’s their theoretical choice in the election. But along with feeling some allegiance, they also may be left feeling disappointment. And that can lead to a disconnect with what pollsters hear compared with the voters who actually show up on Election Day.

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But when I look at the data, a slightly different question comes to mind: Why is Obama even close? If you look at the fundamentals, the president should be getting crushed right now

The key is his post-boomer leadership style. Critics are always saying that Obama is too cool and detached, arrogant and aloof. But the secret to his popularity through hard times is that he is not melodramatic, sensitive, vulnerable and changeable. Instead, he is self-disciplined, traditional and a bit formal. He is willing, with drones and other mechanisms, to use lethal force.

Normally, presidents look weak in these circumstances, overwhelmed by events. But Obama has displayed a kind of ESPN masculinity — postfeminist in his values, but also thoroughly old-fashioned in style — hypercompetitive, restrained, not given to self-doubt, rarely self-indulgent. Administrations are undone by scandal and moments when they look pathetic, but this administration, guarded in all things, has rarely had those moments.

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In that view, the primary fundamentals are these: Obama is the incumbent. The economy is growing at a moderate pace. There’s no serious third-party challenge. We’re not losing massive numbers of soldiers in a foreign war. And when you look at those fundamentals, the reality is this: Incumbent presidents very, very rarely lose under those conditions

If I seem pedantic on this point, it’s because this is one of my pet peeves in political commentary: Pundits take political situations that can be explained through the fundamentals and then attribute them, without any evidence, to the telegenic characteristics of individual politicians or the messaging decisions made by their campaigns. Then, a few years later, the fundamentals turn around, and suddenly our great communicator has forgotten how to give a speech or run a campaign — or vice versa. Remember that in 1982, Ronald Reagan was under 40 percent in the polls. Then the economy rebounded, and he romped to victory in the election.

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There has been nothing very cool about the past 7 weeks for Obama. The president has twisted himself into a policy and rhetorical pretzel to win the support and money he needs from the members of the Democratic coalition.

The Times poll tells the tale: Obama’s nuzzling of the base, beseeching of donors and policy contortions have given Romney the chance to start winning over the narrow band of undecided persuadable voters.

If Democrats don’t want to see Obama defeated, they had better suck it up. Obama is not the superman they believe him to be, nor is his campaign the masterwork they have been led to believe.

The president knows how tight a spot he is in. His supporters are just now realizing it.

***

Had this been an isolated event, Democrat campaign professionals might not be all that concerned. Mistakes, after all, are made. But this was hardly a “one off.” There are, in the view of many Democratic pros, far too many other examples of the Obama campaign making a hash of fairly straightforward political matters…

The mishandling of the President’s endorsement of same sex marriage sent the president’s re-election prospects into a tailspin; electoral college handicappers busily moved North Carolina from “toss-up” to “likely Republican.” And it necessitated today’s “let’s-get-the-media-talking-about-something-else” news event (the Bain attack ad).

Because we have been told for so long that Team Obama is the very model of the modern campaign operation, we have come to sort of believe it. In reality, they’ve been surprisingly inept since they set up shop last year. They’ve been through three slogans and four over-arching re-election “themes.” They’ve made a big deal out of Romney’s dog. They’ve introduced us to “Julia,” which seemed like a right-wing parody of the perfect constituent of the nanny state. One could on (and on).

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Especially after eight years of what was not, and still is not, perceived as a successful presidency.

unstinkingbelievable…W did great things and then the dems took control of congress and it went downhill from there….

liberal revisionists

cmsinaz on May 16, 2012 at 6:46 AM

Obama is not the superman they believe him to be

i believe obama thinks he’s superman…

cmsinaz on May 16, 2012 at 6:48 AM

Many voted in 2008 with the desire to see racism and racists humiliated by having a qualified black man elected president. Especially after eight years of what was not, and still is not, perceived as a successful presidency.

Well, if it was not somewhat successful, it would not have been 8 years. I am tired of people taking pot shots at Bush, as far as I am concerned he is looking better with every passing day.

Terrye on May 16, 2012 at 6:50 AM

Terrye on May 16, 2012 at 6:50 AM

amen

cmsinaz on May 16, 2012 at 6:53 AM

Message to MITT Campaign.

We don’t like politicians that do the ping pong speeches with the TelePrompTer. PLEASE don’t use it unless absolutely necessary. You look like a fully white slicker haired version of the Gay, Non-Muslim, Hispanic, Female President we have now.

PappyD61 on May 16, 2012 at 7:11 AM

Steve Schmidt trolling for a nickel on Morning Joe. Ugh. I’d rather see Mika (who is not there) mugging and making gagging looks into the camera when they talk about Romney.

Morning cnsinaz. You watch, I can’t.

Marcus on May 16, 2012 at 7:17 AM

And speaking of Mitt……….

…..and possible Veeps?

I heard Rob Portman yesterday. What a disaster. He weaves all around but couldn’t NOT bring himself around to say he supported traditional marriage. After the interview I thought Biden could win a debate with this guy.

ROBNO 2012!

PappyD61 on May 16, 2012 at 7:19 AM

Marcus on May 16, 2012 at 7:17 AM

morning Marcus…yep, schmidt schmoozing and bashing with the best of them…i’m sure he’ll get his own show shortly on msdnc

cmsinaz on May 16, 2012 at 7:23 AM

unstinkingbelievable…W did great things and then the dems took control of congress and it went downhill from there….

liberal revisionists

cmsinaz on May 16, 2012 at 6:46 AM

He did do some great things…one thing he didn’t do, and we are dearly paying for it, use his veto pen.
President Bush, and I think he was great, but he over spent, allowed the gov. to over spend and that has hurt us, that was a disaster that could have been averted with some huevos.

right2bright on May 16, 2012 at 7:24 AM

right2bright on May 16, 2012 at 7:24 AM

i’ll give you the veto pen, you’re right about that…

cmsinaz on May 16, 2012 at 7:28 AM

watching moaning joke,expecting to hear steve schmidt talk about last nights election. crickets on the obama channel.

No Palin no Peace.

renalin on May 16, 2012 at 7:40 AM

Message to MITT Campaign.
You look like a fully white slicker haired version of the Gay, Non-Muslim, Hispanic, Female President we have now.
PappyD61 on May 16, 2012 at 7:11 AM

.
Still can’t get that ABR chip off your shoulder, can you ?

Super Mitt looks more like Clark Kent than Erkel.

Your derision can’t change that. Evah.

FlaMurph on May 16, 2012 at 8:37 AM

I am a Fl girl.
We have some interesting critters here.

bazil9 on May 16, 2012 at 2:09 AM

Yep and the majority of them live in Debbie Whatshername-Schultz district.

Flora Duh on May 16, 2012 at 9:07 AM

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