By DAVID BEILSTEIN
JOHN KING OVER at CNN dropped another possible harbinger of presidential election eventualities. In his recent column, King wrote that for President Obama to win reelection he would have to make history again — as he did when he was elected the first African-American President of the United States. (On a side note, someone call Morgan Freeman, please, because Freeman is unsure of whether Obama’s even black).
Anyway, King goes on to relate Obama will be facing the difficult challenge of seeking reelection despite high unemployment. If he does it, King says, he will join FDR as the only President to do so. Consequently, King’s column gives an odor of indication the media still sees Obama as the favorite in election 2012. And just dropped recently, ABC News released this, showing Obama’s popularity ebbing, and support among women, fading. Cracks surfacing, in other words. Over at The Hill, more bad news.
I was saying this, folks, during the Republican primaries. But what the hell do I know?
Taken directly, the Democratic National Convention will be the last public sparring match for the President before the fight to Nov. 6, commences. I expect President Obama to give a more honed, literary speech than Mitt Romney, but my doubts increase given recent polls if the President will have the majority of the country at his back. I wouldn’t say a splendid literary speech by Obama is bad for Romney, as each man has to shore up his own weakness. For Romney, connection with average voters worried about normal everyday affairs was his disconnect. His speech was aimed at those fences. It seems clear to me and from Romney’s modest bounce, he stepped into that challenge and accomplished quite a bit.
For President Barack H. Obama, he’s been giving good speeches his entire presidency and I cannot think of many breathing souls who actually remember them fondly. The one where he stood amidst Greek Pillars? His inaugural address? No one seems to be mindful of these. That’s not good for Obama, by the way.
Other not good-for-Obama news is the Carville-Greenberg poll, showing Mitt Romney trouncing the President among the ever-needed independents by 15 points. Snatching independents in these polls is like the boxer working behind a highly effective jab. Just sayin’. For pollsters, and those in the know, these are incumbent, going down in defeat type numbers, kids. It’s an important poll because it models the type of polls the White House is getting, privately. It explains, clearly, the avalanche of negative ads the White House levelled at Mitt Romney pre-RNC convention when Romney couldn’t respond due to campaign finance restrictions.
Yes, the White House is panicked — or looks it.
Romney is able to answer those negative lunges now and has the cash to do it. He will not suffer McCain’s relative poverty in comparison to Obama’s pockets in 2008. It will be interesting to see what that means. If anything, the weakness of the Romney machine is it’s slow footwork, it’s fear to reach out and score against the champion. Still, Romney must know what appears to be happening and what appears to be happening is the President is showing some wobbly knees and arm weariness. In short, it appears Romney is facing a champion ready to be beaten. Such realities often result in a good candidate rising to greater heights, scoring often against a tired champion. And Mitt Romney is that fighter with the good game, but never a great game.
The DNC convention will be important. Maybe. It depends how much — if any — bounce the President receives stepping out of Charlotte, North Carolina. He’s now down in that state, alone, 48-44. Depending on the President’s bounce, or lack thereof, likely informs those paying attention whether we are looking at 1992 or 1976. I could be wrong but I do not expect much of a bounce because of the President’s anemic polling now. He cannot crawl out of the 44-46% stagnate bog, probably because that is his approval rating in general. Thus, Romney has room to breath, and it will be tough for the President to catch up.
The media likes to recall former President George W. Bush got elected at 46% approval rating — lowest ever, apparently. Problem is, Bush scored routinely at 50% before the election in polls I saw. I’m not sure I’m buying the media’s optimistic low-balling of Bush’s approval rating in 2004, especially since Bush did run a solid campaign based on his record, and scored almost 53% against Sen. John F Kerry on election night. Several prominent Democrat strategists have already suggested Obama will be splayed out on the electoral canvas if he runs on his record, err, — economic issues.
I will be eating some big breakfasts this week and chewing my food slowly. Proper diet and all that. The 2012 election has begun in earnest and I need to keep up. Eggs for energy, exercise for wind, cigars for breaks and writing, — and dark beer for thinking.
And, I’ll be keeping track of things at the Democratic National Convention too. There are some, hopefully not many, who are sick to death of this election and want it over-and-done.
If that’s you, gentle reader, I’ll leave you with a lovely Peggy Noonan quote,
“You’re bored with politics? Kid, right now is when it gets interesting.”