Election 2012

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Will Obama run?

 

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Items on this page are archived in the order of discovery.

These are pre-campaign items from November 2010 to Obama's 50th birthday, August 4, 2011, the "official" start of Obama's 2012 run.

ALL events after the August 4th date are now posted and discussed in the forum.

Obama

Aaron Klein is reporting that some senior personalities in the Democratic Party have discussed with Obama's advisers the possibility of him not running for re-election in 2012, according to an influential Democratic Party operative speaking on condition of anonymity.

The operative, who is close to the Democratic leadership, did not indicate whether Obama was undecided about running again.

Any such decision would need to be made at a later date based on a number of factors, such as any change in poll numbers after the midterm elections, the operative said.

There are some within the Democratic leadership who believe at this point it would be best for the party if Obama did not seek re-election in 2012, and more than one discussion has been held on the matter with Obama's top advisers, according to the party operative.

Continue reading here . . .

The gambit will be that Michelle begged Obama not to run, for her sake, and the sake of the children. 

Should Obama Quit After One Term?
Byron York asks, would Obama be a stronger president if he announced today that he will not run for re-election in 2012?  Democratic strategists Pat Caddell and Doug Schoen say the answer is yes.

"If the president goes down the reelection road, we are guaranteed two years of political gridlock at a time when we can ill afford it," Caddell and Schoen write in Sunday's Washington Post.  "But by explicitly saying he will be a one-term president, Obama can deliver on his central campaign promise of 2008, draining the poison from our culture of polarization and ending the resentment and division that have eroded our national identity and common purpose."

You might think that by announcing he will not run, Obama would be telling the world that he is too weak even to try for re-election.  Not so, say Caddell and Schoen.  "Forgoing another term would not render Obama a lame duck," they write.  "Paradoxically, it would grant him much greater leverage with Republicans and would make it harder for opponents such as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell -- who has flatly asserted that his highest priority is to make Obama a one-term president -- to be uncooperative."

Do you believe that?  I don't.  If Obama were to announce he is not running in '12, Republicans would react precisely the way Democrats would react were the parties reversed.  They would take it as a sign of fatal weakness and would attempt to run over Obama on matters big and small.  And if they couldn't run over Obama on a given issue, they would wait him out, knowing that there will soon be a new president.  Obama's would be a dead-in-the-water presidency.  (Of course, it might be already, but it would definitely be if he passed up the 2012 race.)  What political strength Obama has now stems from the possibility -- to Republicans, the threat -- that he can come back and win re-election.  Give that up and he has nothing except the institutional powers -- executive orders, commander-in-chief, etc. -- of the presidency.

Surely Caddell and Schoen, two veterans with a deep understanding of politics, know that.  Assuming they do, and in light of recent election results, it seems more likely that what they are really saying to Obama is: Please leave before you destroy the Democratic party.  It's a reasonable request, but they're not going to get what they want.
"He’s A Con Man"
Ed Morrissey says no good progressive rebellion would be complete without hearing from Ralph Nader, and the two-time presidential candidate and notorious spoiler finally weighed in on the tax deal Barack Obama cut with the GOP.  Needless to say, Nader is less than impressed with Obama, and demanded a primary challenge from the left to defeat the "con man" currently in the White House.  And if one doesn’t step forward, well, Nader might pull his campaign out of mothballs and give it one more go himself:
    

"He has no fixed principles," Nader said, of Obama.  "He’s opportunistic -- he goes for expedience, like Clinton.  Some call him temperamentally conflict-averse.  If you want to be harsher, you say he has no principles and he’s opportunistic."

"He’s a con man," Nader continued.  "I have no use for him."

Nader urged a progressive candidate to challenge Obama for the presidency in 2012, and said that while he wasn’t altogether disallowing the possibility of running himself, it was time for a new progressive leader to step forward.

"Obama’s position has been that the liberal, progressive wing has nowhere to go, therefore they can’t turn their back on the administration.  But a challenge will hold his feet to the fire and signal that we do have somewhere to go," Nader said.

"I’m not foreclosing the possibility [of running]… There are just other things to do," he continued.  "And it’s time for someone else to continue.  I’ve done it so many times.  When I go around the country, I’m telling people they need to find somebody."

    
Could Republicans get this lucky?  Yes, we can!  Seriously, though, the progressive wing of the Democratic Party isn’t likely to back yet another step along the Harold Stassen road for Nader, and Nader himself seems to realize it.  If Nader ran, he’d be the Maytag Repairman of presidential candidates with very little chance of impacting the results.

As an activist, though, Nader could have plenty of impact.  He’s likely to serve as a rallying point for angry progressives at the moment, and the era of Republican control of the House will provide plenty of opportunities for even more anger.  Instead of being king, Nader could easily play kingmaker for someone on the inside of the party to step up against Obama.  Nader thinks that a primary is a given, "[j]ust a question of how prominent" the challenger will be.  Can he recruit someone with enough credibility to run against Obama?  Russ Feingold’s looking for work, but Obama did a lot of campaigning for Feingold in a desperate attempt to rescue his job.  Howard Dean has insisted he’s not interested.  Who’s left?  Wes Clark?
Dems Circle the Wagons Around Obama
NewsMax.com is reporting that while general public support for Barack Obama seemingly shrinks by the day, Democrats apparently see no alternative and are circling the wagons.  A new CNN/Opinion Research survey shows that 78 percent of Democratic voters want to see Obama nominated for president again, the highest level of support for him this year.

That 78 percent reading represents a rise from 73 percent just two months ago.  And it compares quite favorably to the 57 percent of Democrats who wanted Bill Clinton renominated shortly after Republicans slaughtered Democrats in the 1994 midterm elections.

"The level of support suggests a primary challenge against the 44th president is likely to fail," The Hill states.  So far no Democrat has expressed an interest in challenging Obama.

What will happen to Obama's 2012 campaign if even one of the 7 states that are telling Obama, that if you want on 2012 ballot, pass a release the records or don't run bill?
To Win, Obama Has To Fool Some Folks All The Time
Michael Goodwin says The hot-stove league in national politics is in a tizzy about whether Obama will move to the center in the next two years.  Most in Washington say he will because he must.

I say he won't because he can't.  You have to be a centrist to really move to the center, and if the last two years prove anything, it is that Obama's definitely not a centrist.

The yes-he-will crowd has concluded that GOP control of the House forces Obama to make compromises.  They point to the income-tax deal that kept rates fixed for two years, even though Obama pledged to raise rates on families earning above $250,000.

In truth, he had no choice.  Because Republicans were united and Dems divided, he could either go along with the deal or risk a tax hike on everyone.  The risk wasn't worth the fight.

But few other issues have such immediate consequences, so Obama will be able to pick and choose and use the bully pulpit to declare victory when it suits him.  As he said himself, he is "itchin' for a fight" with the GOP, which is music to the liberal wing of his party.

Of course, rhetorically, he will sometimes suggest he's a centrist, as he did in the 2008 campaign, but that will be just for show.

His re-election depends on getting just enough independents to believe he's a centrist while letting lefties know he's still with them.  In other words, he has to fool some of the people all the time.

Related:  Obama’s campaign organization begins laying off Obots as the first phase of a restructuring before the official kickoff of Obama’s 2012 re-election bid.

In other words, he'll lie his lyin' ass off -- as he usually does.
Reelecting Obama An Enormous Challenge
Michael O'Brien says Obama's reelection in 2012 won't be easy, the chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) says.

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.), the new chairman of the CBC, told the group IMPACT to expect a bruising fight to secure the president a second term.

"It's realistic for our party to understand the enormous challenge we're going to have, to get him back in the White House in 2012," Cleaver told the group, as reported on Monday by NBC's Washington affiliate.

"It will not be a landslide or an easy victory," Cleaver added.  "We're going to have to scrape and battle for every vote we get."

The CBC leader's remarks underscore the uncertainty surrounding Obama's political footing going into 2012.  While he was swept into office in 2008 with Democratic headwinds, the GOP's win in the 2010 elections suggest Obama could be vulnerable to a strong Republican challenger.

Cleaver said Obama has been the a victim of impossibly high expectations for his first two years in office.

"The majority of Americans placed inflated expectation on candidate Obama and some even placed all of their hopes and dreams in him," the Missouri Democrat said.  "No human being could have performed at the level of expectation in such a short period of time."

Polls have suggested that some potential Republican challengers are within striking distance of beating Obama, if not enjoying a slight lead.  But with the 2012 campaign only beginning to get off the ground, those numbers are fluid.

Some of Obama's advisers are expected to begin formally setting up his reelection operation in Chicago some time in the first half of the year.
Obama Begins Gearing Up Re-Election Bid
Democratic officials say an early start is needed in part to commence the fund-raising campaign for a contest that's expected to cost $1 billion.

Jonathan Weisman and Laura Meckler report the White House will announce as soon as this month the creation of Barack Obama's re-election campaign, with fund-raising likely to begin in March or early April, said officials involved in the planning.

The looming departure of three top White House officials has brought into early focus the contours of the election effort -- and has surfaced concern from some Democrats that Obama is beginning too soon.

Democratic officials said the re-election campaign needs an early start to establish Obama as a formidable candidate and begin raising money for a bid expected to cost each party around $1 billion.

White House officials declined to discuss re-election efforts.

After a disastrous midterm election for his party, Obama recently has been seeking to re-establish himself as a unifying figure who can appeal to independent voters.  Now, some Democratic strategists close to the White House fear the return of Obama as a candidate could harm the repositioning effort.

Moreover, some of these Democrats, who at times advise Obama's inner circle, worry that the establishment of a campaign office in Chicago will create two power centers that may clash.

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs, presidential adviser David Axelrod and Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina will all leave Washington in the coming weeks to form the core of a re-election campaign, with Messina directing the effort.

Obama's announcement that he is establishing a re-election campaign will be low-key, possibly just an email to supporters or a written statement, said a Democratic official familiar with the planning.

Continue reading here . . .
Obama's Re-Election Strategy
Paul A. Rahe says one thing is now clear.  Barack Obama very much wants to be re-elected, and he is willing to do whatever it takes.

As I have already pointed out, he could not hire William M. Daley as his new White House Chief of Staff without eating a substantial helping of crow.  Among Democrats, no one was as critical in public of the course chosen by Obama, Nancy Pelois, and Harry Reid in 2009 as was Daley.  The op-ed he published in The Washington Post on Chrismas Eve, 2009 -- just a few hours after Harry Reid jammed through the Senate a bill burdened with provisions known as the Cornhusker Kickback, the Connecticut Compromise, the Louisiana Purchase, and the Florida Flim-Flam -- predicted that, if the Democratic Party followed through on what it had already done, it would not only be routed at the midterm elections in November, 2010; it would lay the foundations for "electoral disaster . . . in many elections to come."  I doubt that Obama will step forward and publicly admit fault.  That, as far as I can tell, he does not have in him.  But before Daley took the job, he must have heard Obama whisper the familiar words that this son of one Chicago mayor and brother of another first learned as an altar boy: "Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa."

In practice, this means that Daley will wield far more authority than was ever accorded to Rahm Emanuel.  There are signs the he is already doing so.  Reports indicate that Robert Gibbs' departure is Daley's doing and that Valerie Jarrett's wings will be clipped.  In these matters, Obama is utterly cold-blooded.  As William Ayers and the Reverend Jeremiah Wright learned not so long ago, when circumstances change, this would-be Messiah is not loath to dispense with those hitherto near and dear.  One aide is quoted as describing him as "the most unsentimental man I've ever met."

Daley's arrival at the helm also means that Obama has decided to pivot and reposition himself as a budget-cutter and a friend to big business.  The left within the Democratic Party is now in an uproar, which will help the Obama far more than it will hurt him.  If he is to present himself as the Comeback Kid, he will have to ditch his party in much the same manner as Slick Willie from Arkansas.  John Boehner and Mitch McConnell will have to be ready to do business with one hand -- while they are investigating malfeasance on the part of the administration with the other.  Politically, we are in for a battle royal.

To a considerable degree, the outcome will turn on contingencies.  The stock market is up, business leaders seem sanguine, and investor confidence is high.  As I argued in an earlier post, however, there are storm clouds on the horizon.  Housing prices are dropping, and some observers believe that they are still overpriced by twenty percent.  If they continue to fall, more homeowners will find that they owe more than the house is worth -- and many of these will default on their mortgages.  Moreover, almost all of the states and a great many of the municipalities in the country have large unfunded obligations which will soon at least in part come due, and some of our most populous and wealthy states -- Illinois, New York, and California among them -- have massive deficits in their current operating budgets.  They will have to cut jobs and services, and they may be forced to raise taxes.  Neither expedient will speed the recovery.  We could easily slip back into recession -- and if we do or if, as is highly likely, unemployment remains high, Obama will get the blame.

To the discontent derived from the economy, we can add that attendant on ObamaCare -- which grows more unpopular with every passing month.  If the Republicans in the House vote to repeal the bill and if the Democrats in the Senate block the bill, Obama and his party will be made to pay.  If the bill passes both the House and the Senate and Obama vetoes it, he alone will bear the blame.  The situation favors the Republicans.  Obama is vulnerable.
Memorial Or Political Rally?
Not since Democratic Sen. Paul Wellstone's funeral have we seen such a cynical political display.

Last night, at what was billed as a "memorial," Barack Obama began Campaign 2012.  Of course, for a proper campaign, you'll need tee-shirts with slogans.  Socialists are good with slogans.  This is a beauty, "Together we thrive."  Ahhh!  The collective.
    
    
The president of the University of Arizona (and master of ceremonies) set the tone by reminding the cheering crowd how lucky we are to have Barack Obama as our president and Janet Napolitano as our homeland security chief.

AAnd, just listen to the this crowd of "mourners," as they greet the person responsible for our homeland security.  I almost fell out of my chair.  Napolitano thinks she's Springsteen.  "Thank you!"  "Thank you Tucson!"  "Thank you Arizona!"

This was more like a sporting event than a memorial service.  The wolf whistles, the whooping and hollerin' for Obama?  For Big Sis Napolitano? 
   
    
And, then the big guy delivers the big speech -- straight from TOTUS -- causing the San Francisco Chronicle to gush -- "he's back:  Barack Obama's Tucson speech signified Obama's return to that full-power greatness we'd not seen in a long while."
    
    
And this supposed "journalist" continued with this:
    

When I first heard the Obama Tucson Speech, I'd just walked in and turned on the TV set.  The President was in the middle of his speech, and the crowd at the University of Arizona was just plain into it.  So much so, that I was drawn in, in just seconds.  The American Family was at the TV set, listening to our leader of the free World.

Obama spoke with such coiled emotional power it seemed as if he was trying to avoid crying.  That feeling came through the TV set and into my living room.  If you weren't moved by that speech, you were either not human or jealous that Obama didn't pick you to be in his administration.

    
Just wow!

You decide.  Was this a fitting memorial for 6 dead and 14 injured?
Obama's 2012 Cash Challenge
Jeanne Cummings is reporting that Obama’s advisers, bracing for a half-billion-dollar onslaught of outside GOP cash in 2012, are quietly working to bring back together the major donor base that produced a record-breaking fundraising haul in his first run for president.

In the past few months, Democratic National Committee aides have contacted several of Obama’s earliest financial backers to brainstorm about when and where to host the first money-raising events.  Several big donors said they expect the Obama 2012 operation to open its doors this spring, with a string of fundraisers to generate the early cash needed to rebuild Obama’s high-tech campaign operation.

But already some of Obama’s top financial backers are warning the White House:  Raising money won’t be as easy this time around.

"They are getting organized in Chicago to start a massive two-year campaign, which I believe will be successful, but has extraordinarily large challenges in some of the major states," said Philadelphia philanthropist Peter Buttenweiser, who hosted one of the first Obama presidential fundraisers in 2007 and is in talks to organize an early one for the re-election.

Obama’s team is running into resistance in at least one key fundraising hub -- New York City, where some of Obama’s biggest 2008 backers have bitterly protested last year’s passage of financial reform legislation, and what they perceived as an unfair bad-mouthing of bankers during the debate.

Continue reading here . . .
A Memorial In Name Only
Jon Stewart on Thursday again jumped to the defense of Barack Obama, slamming those who questioned the cheering at Wednesday's memorial for the Arizona shooting.  After playing a clip of Michelle Malkin complaining about the event, he derided the conservative: "You're not a primitive nematode, capable only of autonomic response to outside stimuli.  You have a choice."

The White House blamed the "Pep Rally" on the University of Arizona, and even said they were "surprised at the celebration."

The university said it did the planning with minimal input from the White House.  The school paid for the event, including $60,000 for 20,000 tee-shirts bearing the words "Together We Thrive," which were handed out for free.  The money will not come from student tuition, fees or tax dollars.  Well, somebody, or something paid for them.

The fact is, the "Pep Rally" was organized by Organizing for America (OFA), Obama's campaign organization.  And it was OFA that encouraged applause from the boisterous crowd.

The theme, "Together We Thrive," was a recycled Obama campaign slogan from 2008.

The word was spread throughout the network.  The Daily Kos had a page urging Kossaks to, "Host a SOTU 'Together We Thrive' PROGRESS PARTY!  It's time to Network For Progress!"

The cluster-flop in Tucson may have been a lot of things.  It wasn't a memorial.
Obama 2.0:  The Reinvention Begins
Ed Lasky says the year 2012 looms large in the mind of Barack Obama.  After two years of decline in the number of those who view his policies, his performance, and his personality favorably, Barack Obama has begun yet another process of reinvention on the road to reelection.

Will he succeed in bamboozling voters once again?

The policy shifts following the November shellacking the Democrats received from voters are clear.

Foremost among these shifts to the center is the tax deal reached with the Republicans.  There will be others to come, as renewed attention is devoted to transforming the tax code itself to make it simpler and fairer.  There will be more feints to the center.

Barack Obama will adapt even more, altering his image so he can again appeal to the great center of American voters: the jackpot that every candidate must win to enter the White House.  Will Obama be able to connect with voters, as every politician must, on a personal level?

Conservatives should not count Obama out yet.  He may be cold-blooded, but he is a chameleon who can change the way people perceive him.

Indeed, he has already begun to do so.  The premiere of Obama 2.0 took place in Tucson, where his speech was warmly received and a new, more emotional Obama was on display (the voice cracking brings to mind the lip-chewing of a thoughtful Bill Clinton).  And the road show has only just commenced.

A clue to Obama's ability and willingness to adapt can be found in the words of his book Dreams from My Father.  There he mentioned only one book, Malcolm X's autobiography, and wrote that Malcolm X's "repeated acts of self-creation spoke to me."  Therein lies the clue to Obama's plan to rebrand his own image.  A man who can fake a Southern accent, the story of how his father came to America, and the story of his parents' being inspired by the Civil Rights march in Selma to conceive him has no problem morphing for political purposes.

We are about to watch the extreme makeover of Barack Obama in real time.

Continue reading here . . .
"Together We Thrive" Bus Benches Pop Up In Tucson
Jim Hoft says if you thought turning a memorial for six victims of mass murder by a left-wing pothead who hated Bush into a pep rally was weird, you won’t believe this.

"Together We Thrive" bus benches are popping up in Tucson.
    
    
This bench was spotted near the corner of Speedway and Tucson -- near the university.

Maybe the benches were included in on the T-shirt package?  Obama's pep rally lives on.

Just think Tucsonians, you could be sitting on the next "Yes We Can!" can.
Is Obama’s Fate Already Sealed?
Yes, it's sealed alright.  It was sealed the minute he took the oath of office and began to ram through his left wing, socialist, big government domestic agenda and his apologetic, weak-kneed, feeble foreign policy.

He is destined to become a one termer because his actions on the domestic front are fundamentally at odds with American history, values, politics and the Constitution and have diminished the lives of ordinary Americans and because his actions on the foreign policy front have emboldened America’s enemies and made Americans much more vulnerable, not to mention alienating her friends and allies, seriously eroding her role as leader and protector of the free world and in the main making the earth much more dangerous and volatile.

From the farce that is ObamaCare, to the ruinous economy, to the massive and growing debt, to increased tetrorist attacks on the American homeland, to Afghanistan, Iran, the Middle East, the Far East, and international relations in general, to his prevarications, omissions and extravagances there are failures of competence and character everywhere, with every indication that things will get worse not better.  Because everyone has taken the measure of the man and found him wanting, and because he cannot change his personality, and ideology there is virtually no chance of mitigation in any of these areas or others too numerous to mention in the next two years.  Two years is not enough time to undo the damage anyway, especially since no one takes him seriously anymore.

American’s will correct their mistake in the next election and the process of renewal will begin.  As for Obama, he will go down in history as a colossal failure who very nearly presided over the demise of the United States and Western civilization.  In keeping with his exalted intellectual status he’ll probably end up writing books and teaching in some Ivy League institution, all the while revising history and blaming everyone else for his transgressions.  He certainly won’t be running anything because he is not capable of doing so.

True enough, but there is a caveat.  Obama's supporters, in the Democratic Party, the unions, SEIU, ACORN, Black Panthers, and the rest of the Political Left, have demonstrated that they are willing to subvert the electoral system to achieve their political goals.

It ain't over till it's over.
Chicago Political Experts Believe Obama Will Not Seek Second Term
Kevin DuJan says various political types here in Chicago have been talking about all this.  It kept coming up that many of them don’t think Obama is running for a second term, despite what the Media keeps insisting.  They think he will use "family reasons" for not seeking re-election, either making up something about wanting his daughters to grow up outside the limelight of the White House, or even using grandmother Robinson as an excuse, saying she’s sick and Michelle Antoinette wants the family to relocate to Hawaii for their health.

I still think he’s going to use his Parkinson’s as his excuse, like LBJ and his heart condition, so that he can leave the White House with immense sympathy and start his book tours and lecturing.  This is why he wanted to be president by the way, so that he would never have to work a real job for the rest of his life.  He just wants to write books, the way Jimmy Carter does, that impugn and attack America, while making millions of dollars traveling the world as a former US president who can always be counted on to trash our country.  He is quite looking forward to this, and Michelle Antoinette is thrilled to be looking at mansions in Hawaii to move to.  No one here on the ground in Chicago expects these people to live here ever again.  Why should they?  They took everything they could get from Chicagoans, never giving anything back or helping the black community in the slightest, and now that they have achieved everything they ever wanted, they are looking forward to the post-presidential perks that will be afforded to them in Hawaii.

Where, clearly, his presidential library and museum will indeed be located, right on the water, with as spectacular a view as possible for this new center to his cult of personality.

It might seem incredible that Obama would just walk away from the presidency, leaving Democrats in the lurch for 2012, but I was told, repeatedly, to watch what David Axelrod and Michelle Antoinette have both been doing in recent weeks…they give no signs whatsoever that they are engaged in a re-election campaign.

Axelrod was recently on a Chicago Sunday political show and kept dodging all talk of the re-election campaign, which is like Oprah Winfrey turning down a large supreme pizza or a sandwich bigger than her head.  It’s unheard of.

Axelrod’s favorite topic in the world is how he got Obama elected, which means Axelrod’s second favorite topic in the world should be how he is going to re-elect Obama in 2012.  He left the White House claiming that’s why he was moving back to Chicago, to focus on the re-election bid, and when given the perfect opportunity to wax on about that, and praise himself and his efforts, he completely dodged the topic, wanting nothing to do with it.  Why?

Pressed by the reporter, Axelrod apparently said "the president’s re-election is just one of the interesting projects I am working on."  What could be peer, in terms of being interesting, to re-electing a president if you are a political consultant?  Chicago political veterans picked up on this and saw it as a sign that those in the Obama ranks either do not believe he will win in 2012, or that he won’t even run, largely because of the former.

Extract -- read the entire article here . . .
Obama Fundraisers Hard At Work For 2012 Election
The LA Times is reporting Obama's reelection campaign fundraisers are crisscrossing the country to visit big donors.  Some predict he could raise more than $1 billion.

Obama has said he will have plenty of time to campaign for reelection in 2012, but his fledgling campaign team is wasting no time.

Days after leaving his post as White House deputy chief of staff, campaign manager Jim Messina spent the last week hop-scotching across the country to hold sessions with prominent donors in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York and Boston.

His outreach is part of an intense push to rebuild the finance operation that helped Obama raise a record $745 million in 2008. Republican campaign finance lawyers have predicted Obama could top $1 billion in 2012.

The donor gatherings come weeks before the campaign is expected to register with the Federal Election Commission and set up a mechanism to accept contributions. The goal for now is simply to reengage with the party's big financial backers, emphasizing the administration's focus on building the economy.

Obama aides are keen to lock in the support of well-connected donors who bundled, or collected, contributions in 2008 -- more than 500 wealthy individuals who together raised at least $75 million, according to data from the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.

While many bundlers are already enthusiastic, some said that Obama could not assume that those who played a major role in 2008 will step up again.

"My sense is they will need to work very hard and almost start from scratch in recruiting those people," said Philadelphia education consultant Peter Buttenweiser, who raised at least $500,000 for Obama in 2008.

Continue reading here . . .
Barack Obama Should Be Nervous About 2012
Nile Gardner says that if you read America's dominant liberal press, the conventional wisdom is that Barack Obama is launching a stirring comeback after his party's drubbing in the midterms, and is making strong headway towards re-election in 2012 in the face of a fragmented Republican opposition that lacks a clear leader at present.  They point out that Obama has seen his political fortunes rise in the first weeks of 2011, with his overall approval rating now scraping 50 percent, after a low in November of around 44 percent.  His speech in Tucson following the Arizona shootings was widely praised on both sides of the political aisle, and Obama's supporters are claiming a renewed sense of self-confidence on the part of their leader, with a noticeable spring in his step after a disastrous 2010.

But is America's Left being bullishly overconfident in the wake of their biggest midterm defeat since 1948?  Definitely, if a series of new polls are anything to go by.  A CNN/Opinion Research survey released on Tuesday showed that 51 percent of Americans believe Barack Obama will lose the presidential election in 2012.  The poll found that only 26 percent of registered voters will definitely vote for Obama, as opposed to 37 percent who definitely won't.  And despite a rising personal approval rating for Obama, according to RealClear Politics the American public still overwhelmingly feels the country is moving in the wrong direction, with over 60 percent of Americans taking this view.

Economic issues are likely to dominate the political landscape in the lead up to November 2012, and here Obama is already at a distinct disadvantage.  Gallup's latest poll released on February 9 showed that a mere 27 percent of Americans approve of Obama on the deficit (down from 32 percent in November), with 68 percent disapproving.  On taxes, Obama has 42 percent approval as opposed to 54 percent disapproval, and on the economy as a whole 60 percent of Americans are unhappy with Obama's handling of the issue, with just 37 percent in favor.  And on healthcare policy, another major voter issue in 2012, only 40 percent of Americans back Obama, with 56 percent against.  As Gallup concludes:

Obama has failed to build public support in recent months for his handling of major U.S. economic matters, despite a generally well-received State of the Union address in which he proposed a federal spending freeze to help put the brakes on deficit spending.  His approval rating on the economy is no better than it was last fall, and his approval rating on the federal budget deficit -- a top issue for Republicans in Congress since the midterm elections -- is even worse.  His broadest support on the issues comes on foreign policy matters, most notably the situation in Egypt, but even on these, his approval ratings register just below 50%.

It is of course far too early to be making concrete predictions for the outcome of the 2012 presidential race, and a great deal depends on the fortunes of the US economy as well as who the Republicans pick as their candidate.  But with good reason, Obama and his supporters should be nervous about their prospects 21 months from now.  The November mid-terms were not a flash in the pan but part of a broader political change in the United States away from liberalism towards conservatism, as well as an emphatic rejection of the Big Government policies that continue to be promoted by Obama in the face of intense public opposition. 

Obama may be experiencing a temporary bounce with his own personal ratings, but much of his agenda remains hugely unpopular, and the next item should give him a Xanax moment or two.
Fatal Flaw In Obama's 2012 Re-Election Strategy
Mark Tapscott says one reason why Obama Democrats are now backing away from their earlier enthusiasm for the public employee union protestors chanting in the streets of Madison, Wisconsin, against Republican Gov. Scott Walker and the newly-elected GOP majorities in the state senate and house may be their realization that they're on the losing side.

Too bad they didn't consult with Richard Pollock before filling the busses with protestors headed to Wisconsin.  Pollock is Pajamas TV's Washington editor and is a former Fox News and ABC Good Morning America producer.  He is an insightful analyst of Washington's never-ending insider politicking.

Pollock thinks the Madison protests represented the second of a two-track Obama 2012 re-election strategy.  The first track, of course, was the effort to portray Obama as the moderate guy willing to compromise with the new Republican sheriffs in town following their 2010 election sweep.

Compromising with the newly resurgent GOP to extend the Bush tax cuts for a couple of years was the first major manifestation of the first track and predictably earned Obama widespread praise among Democrats and the mainstream media for emulating President Clinton's successful 1996 re-election strategy.

But Pollock argues in his latest Pajamas Media column that Wisconsin was the flawed beginning of the second track and Obama and his advisors got it all wrong:
    

"The decision by the Democratic Party and its allies to draw a line in the sand in Wisconsin was the wrong strategy, in the wrong state, at the wrong time, on the wrong issue, and executed in the wrong way.

"The White House, which for the last two years seemed so tone deaf over health care, jobs, and the economy, may again be displaying a stunning political miscalculation.  Unless the Democrats pull the plug on their ill-conceived Wisconsin campaign, the statewide and national backlash now beginning to emerge may continue to resonate all the way to the 2012 presidential elections."

    
The tip-off was Obama's giving an interview to a Wisconsin television reporter at the height of the Egyptian crisis.  Why would Obama, allegedly engrossed with managing the crisis in the Middle East, suddenly pull back to blast the budget and labor policies of a newly-elected GOP governor in a safe Democratic state?
    

"The Wisconsin political blitzkrieg on Gov. Walker was not a spontaneous eruption. It is now clear that it was a highly organized operation planned in Washington, D.C., to unleash a national counterattack on the gains made by Republicans and Tea Party activists," Pollock said.

"Getting Organizing for America and the president to act in close coordination was itself no small feat. The plan included busing in thousands of government employees, arranging for Democratic lawmakers to flee to an adjoining state, flying speakers and political organizers into Madison, organizing thousands to leave their jobs in public safety and in classrooms, and staging rallies inside and outside the statehouse. They even enticed sympathetic doctors to draft bogus doctor excuses for government workers," he said.

"It all worked like a charm. Except that it struck all the wrong notes and portrayed all the wrong images."

    
Pollock knows a little something about images.  Go here for the rest of a must-read column.
Team Obama Realizes 2012 Will Be Harder Than 2008
Jim Geraghty comments on this item from the Wall Street Journal:
    

Barack Obama’s advisors are telling potential donors that he is in a weaker position heading into the 2012 election than he was in 2008 and are detailing potential vulnerabilities of likely opponents, according to people who have seen their presentation.

    
Is this surprising?  The Obama of 2008 ran on promises.  The Obama of 2012 will have to run on a record, and a record that is significantly less appealing than the gauzy hope-and-change vision of his promises.  It was one thing to be the blank slate and to be simultaneously be the preferred candidate of Markos Moulitsas and Colin Powell, of Barbara Streisand and Warren Buffett.  But the slate is not so blank, and after taking a leap of faith during the tumult of the 2008 financial meltdown, a significant number of independents are recoiling from their decision…
    

The donor meetings and the recent hiring of several senior campaign staff members are among the early moves Obama aides have made before the official launch of the president’s re-election effort, which Democratic officials say will come shortly after April 1.

    
April Fool’s Day.  Insert your own joke here.
    

Part of Mr. Messina’s presentation is to caution donors that while Mr. Obama has recovered after the trouncing his party took in the 2010 elections and is well-positioned for 2012, he will face a tough re-election fight that will require substantial donor support, according to people familiar with the presentation.  The slide show cites Michigan and Pennsylvania as places where Mr. Obama’s standing has dropped since 2008 while GOP support has gone up.  Using bureaucratic short hand for President of the United States, the slides warn: "POTUS maintains clear but narrowed support" and note there is "significant work to do to increase support among key demographics."

    
Either of those states would be fantastic for the GOP to win, but neither are necessary.  In fact, if Obama loses either of those, his reelection bid is all but finished.  It’s interesting that the slide show doesn’t mention keeping any of his surprising wins from 2008 -- Indiana, North Carolina, or Virginia -- and that they’re not focused on traditional swing states Ohio or Florida.
Obama Will Not Be Reelected
Timothy Naegele says, like former Presidents Jimmy Carter and Lyndon Johnson before him, in 1980 and 1968 respectively, Barack Obama will not be reelected in 2012.  The twin pincers of a domestic economy in the throes of the "Great Depression II" -- which economic historians will describe as such, or by using similar terms 20-40 years from now -- and his failed Vietnam-like Afghan war will seal his political fate.  Other factors will contribute mightily too, such as the perception that he is "out of touch" just as Jimmy Carter was; and that Obama is a silver-tongued, narcissistic "foreign born" demagogue who is un-American.  Perceptions often become reality, certainly in politics.

We are witnessing the end of Obama as a politician now.  The zenith of his presidency occurred with the enactment of ObamaCare, just as Hillary Clinton’s health care efforts marked the "high water mark" of her influence during Bill Clinton’s presidency.  Obama’s nadir is yet to come, but the 2010 mid-term election debacle represented an important milestone on the slippery downward slope of his presidency.  The domestic economy will get far worse; his Afghan war is a morass that seems unwinnable and inescapable; and national security issues loom -- such as North Korea and Iran -- which may prove "hazardous" at best.

Barack Obama is a failed politician whose "magic" has come and gone.  He is not merely a bad president.  He may have the distinction of going down in history as one of the worst presidents that America has ever had, or perhaps the worst depending on what happens during the remainder of his term in office.  That he is presiding over a failed presidency is not in dispute.  The only question becomes: how bad will things get for the American nation, its people and for him, before he leaves public office?  It is fair to surmise that we have only seen the tip of an enormous political, economic, social and national security "iceberg" -- or nightmare -- reminiscent of the one that the RMS Titanic struck in 1912.

It is not beyond the pale to believe that scandals will engulf Barack Obama as more and more is learned about who he is and how he has governed, and what he and others in his administration have done during the time they have been entrusted with the presidency.  Barack Obama is no Bill Clinton: a "cat" with seemingly nine lives politically.  He is a "mix" between Carter who was perceived as cerebral and out of touch, and Johnson who was viciously maligned and prevented from running for reelection.

When I was a young Army officer stationed at the Pentagon, before working on Capitol Hill, I remember bumper stickers on cars in the District of Columbia that asked: "Where is Lee Harvey Oswald now that we really need him?" -- a reference to John F. Kennedy’s killer.  Johnson was hated, and such implied threats were real.  There are rising negative sentiments about Obama today, involving large numbers of Americans who are not racially prejudiced or merely disillusioned.

Continue reading here . . .
Soaring Prices Will Sink Obama In 2012
Henry Reske and Ashley Martella say Barack Obama’s re-election chances are imperiled by the combination of rising food and gas prices, Democratic political analyst Doug Schoen tells Newsmax.TV.

Regarding another volatile issue, Schoen said the public opinion battle over collective-bargaining rights in Wisconsin is in a stalemate but could break for Republicans.

"The combination of rising food and gas prices could pose grave peril to President Obama’s re-election," Schoen said in an exclusive Newsmax.TV interview.  "Not only would it be inflationary, it literally hits people where they live.  And we saw with Jimmy Carter in the late '70s the impact of stagflation.  If we had a period of stagnant economic growth, inflation and potentially increasing interest rates it could be particularly perilous for our president."

With recent poll numbers showing only 22 percent of likely voters think the country is headed in the right direction, there is every reason to believe that the 2012 presidential election will be more competitive than 2008’s, said Schoen, a political strategist who has worked for both Clintons.

"That being said, the Republicans are divided, there’s no obvious front-runner for the nomination.  And then, come to presidents, particularly those who can raise a lot of money, have to be taken seriously, but it’s always a very serious warning sign when the right direction number for the president drops below 25 percent," he said.

Similarly, he said, the 23 Democratic senators up for re-election in 2012 are in danger because the "circumstances that make Obama unpopular make them equally, if not more, unpopular."

In Wisconsin, the battle between Walker and public-sector unions over collective-bargaining rights and budget deficits is a draw when it comes to public opinion, with both sides garnering strong support.

"Democrats are certainly mobilized by what they regard as an assault on the right of labor to organize and bargain collectively," Schoen said.  "But if, as we’ve seen in states like New Jersey and Indiana, there is a good economic result given the fighting that we’ve seen in the legislature and in the streets, then I think ultimately it could well work to Governor Walker’s advantage."

One level where the Democrats are succeeding is in energizing their base, he said.

"I think Democrats have shown an unprecedented level of mobilization," he said.  "One-hundred-thousand people in the streets last weekend, the most since the Vietnam War, that’s huge, that’s really significant.  But whether that translates into broad based across the board support for the Democratic Party remains to be seen."
Obama Close To Announcing Re-Election Bid
David Jackson says, rest assured.  He's running again.

National Journal's Marc Ambinder reports that the formal announcement is "fewer than three weeks away," and will likely be made public "with an online video his aides will post on his new campaign website, Democratic sources familiar with the plans said."

The Obama team plans to let supporters know by text message and e-mail, Marc adds, and he notes that Obama's hometown of Chicago will be the site of a Democratic National Committee fundraiser on April 14.

"Democratic donors are being told that it will coincide with the announcement," National Journal reports.  "Obama will attend the event."

Continue reading here . . .
Obama's Opening Campaign Volley
    
    
8 million jobs and $3 trillion later, Obama's 2012 Campaign launch video was released this morning.  It's pretty weak.  I'm surprised at how weak it is.

Here are some of the Obot's quotes:
    

Alice -- Unfortunately, Obama is one person, he cannot go.  Plus he got a job!

Ed -- I can't not be involved.  There's just too much that is fundamentally important right now that is going on...  I don't agree with Obama on everything, but I respect him and I trust him.

Gladys -- There are so many things still on the table that need to be addressed, and we want them to be addressed by President Obama.

Katherine -- I had this perception that politics was all show, that it was all sound bites. But  "politics" is how we govern ourselves.

    
Oprah Won't Back Obama in 2012
Digital Spy is reporting that Oprah Winfrey reportedly does not plan to publicly support Barack Obama in the 2012 US presidential election.

Winfrey supported Obama's campaign in 2008, holding a highly publicized political rally for him during his presidential challenge.

According to a Gallup poll conducted before the rally, Winfrey's favorable ratings fell from 74 to 66% while her unfavorable ratings jumped from 17 to 26%.

Her TV show ratings also fell following the event.

A source has told PopEater that Winfrey doesn't want to do anything to alienate viewers now that she has launched her OWN network.

"For 2012, much has changed for Oprah.  She now has her own cable channel called OWN that has been struggling to find an audience -- she isn't going to do anything to alienate them," the insider said.

The source added: "Unlike in 2008, when a drop in ratings didn't matter as much for the queen of TV, Oprah is now fighting every day to get people to tune into OWN."

The source continued: "Helping a friend keep the most important job in the world is great, but making sure her OWN network thrives is now her priority."
Four More Years?
John Hinderaker says the conventional wisdom inside the Beltway is that Obama has tacked to the center following the Republicans' sweep in November, and that his more moderate approach, exemplified by yesterday's budget deal, is positioning him favorably for re-election, much like Bill Clinton in 1996.

Perhaps.  November 2012 is, in political terms, a very long way off, and predictions are more or less useless.  But Obama faces some serious challenges in persuading voters to give him another term.  Those challenges are exemplified by current polling data.

Only 28 percent of likely voters say that they share Obama's political views, while 57 percent say Obama is more liberal than they are.  Of course, that might not be fatal if voters believe that Obama's policies have been successful.  (I haven't tried to dredge up the old poll data, but I'm pretty sure that in 1983, most voters said President Reagan was more conservative than they were, yet he won re-election in a landslide because it was obvious that his policies had been successful.)

Here is Obama's problem: in addition to disagreeing with him in principle, a large majority of voters don't believe his policies have worked.  Currently, only 9 percent of American adults (not voters) rate the economy as excellent or good, while 56 percent say it is poor. This explains why Obama's approval ratings are falling among Hispanics and African-Americans.

There is still quite a bit of time for Obama to convince swing voters that he is a moderate and that his policies are effective, but he has a high mountain to climb.
As A Senator I Voted To Help My Career, Not The Country
Ed Lasky says the GOP has just found a campaign sound bite for the presidential campaign of 2012 and it came from the world's greatest orator himself: Barack Obama.

Here is what Obama told ABC News George Stephanopoulos regarding his Senatorial vote in 2006 opposing a debt increase:
    

I think that it's important to understand the vantage point of a senator versus the vantage point of a ... president.  When you're a senator, traditionally what's happened is, this is always a lousy vote.  Nobody likes to be tagged as having increased the debt limit for the United States by a trillion dollars.  ... As president, you start realizing: 'You know what?  We -- we can't play around with this stuff.  This is the full faith in credit of the United States.'  And so that was just a example of a new senator, you know, making what is a political vote as opposed to doing what was important for the country.

    
Senator Obama only cared about his own political prospects and not what was important for the future of the country.  Is there any clearer and more honest statement regarding Barack Obama's priorities?

This is yet another example that the narcissism of Barack Obama is what has always motivated him.  His excessive use of the personal pronoun "I"; his omnipresence on our television screens, his stream of inaccuracies, his promises that all come with an expiration date, his claims, his position on the Iraq War while a Senator...all geared towards not for the good of the nation but to boost his own political career.

Did he care about this country when Hugo Chavez, Venezuela's dictator, slandered America?  Instead of proudly defending our nation, Barack Obama lamely just said that he was glad Chavez had not blamed him personally for things that had happened before he was born.  Again, it is all about him and not about us or our nation.

Are we seeing yet another Obama gaffe that the media will obscure or overlook entirely -- as they have so often the past few years?  Jay Cost of the Weekly Standard noted various mistakes that Barack Obama has made that, were he a mere mortal or just a Republican, would have tarnished his image but for the connivance of the media .

This also puts into perspective why Obama "clings" to the teleprompter.  On his own, he stammers and searches for answers or reveals his antipathies and prejudices (the bitter clingers) and his lack of empathy (worried about gas prices..hey, dump that gas guzzler and buy a hybrid SUV).

His handlers -- and perhaps Obama (himself though he does not seem to be a self-reflective or self-critical man) -- know that to speak from his heart or mind would reveal to Americans the true Barack Obama behind the image that has been packaged and peddles to us.

And that would not help him win a second term.
After Pinocchio-on-the-Potomac We Need To Vet All Candidates
Michael Oberndorf says whether the voters like it or not, and whether they care or not, politicians have declared that the coffee break is over and the campaign for the presidential election, to be held in November, 2012 -- over 600 days from now -- has officially begun.  Thus, since the fool who currently occupies the White House is already using our tax dollars to pay for his campaign appearances, it is time to remind voters who this guy really is.

Despite the claims of the Ministry of Propaganda, aka, the "mainstream" media, that we don’t really know who Obama-Soetoro is, anyone who has paid even the slightest attention knows exactly who he is.  He has told us, in proud, arrogant detail in his two self-aggrandizing supposed autobiographies, and his campaign speeches.  These have been augmented by a great deal of research by patriot investigators, published in books of their own and on websites such as this one.

The simple truth is that Obama-Soetoro’s father was an anti-colonialist (read: anti-capitalist, anti-white) communist, and Barry states in his first book that the dreams of his father are his dreams, too. Many believe that this book was ghost-written by Bill Ayers, an unrepentant communist terrorist.  His mentor as a teen was Frank Marshall Davis, a communist.  His mother and her parents, who raised him, were socialists, and probably communists.  When (if?) he was in college, he, by his own admission, sought out radical leftist professors and communist students for his companions.  He thought of himself as a disciple of extreme radical communist, Saul Alinsky.  And for 20 years, he attended the "church" of Jeremiah Wright, who preached Marxist black nationalism, and hatred for whites and America.  Wright presided at his wedding and baptized his children, and was described by Obama-Soetoro as his "Uncle."  Though he may not be a practicing Muslim, he was raised as one as a child, and has an obvious preference for Islam over Christianity.  Given these facts, the notion put forth by the Ministry of Propaganda, the radical leftist Democrats, and the running-dog RINOS, especially in the Senate, that this fraud is a moderate of any kind is a bald-faced lie.

A word or two about the New Left that Saul Alinsky was a part of is necessary to put these ideas that the current administration holds so dear into their proper perspective.  The New Left saw itself going beyond the traditional communism of Stalin and Mao.  They believed their version to be ideologically pure, unsullied by any materialism, cult of personality, or lust for power.  Whether this was cynical sleight of hand or incredible naiveté is debatable, but led to a "true believer" mentality.  It was they who picked up the term "political correctness" from Mao’s brutal Cultural Revolution, and made it a permanent part of our modern vocabulary.

At the heart of New Left thinking was the fundamental concept of revolution by destruction of the existing system.  Capitalism, private property, and individual freedom must be destroyed, completely, for the revolution to really begin.  They had no real idea what they would put in its stead, just amorphous pie-in-the-sky ideas of some sort of utopian, communitarian society that would perfect itself and obviate the need for any government at all.  Amazing how many "intellectuals" bought into this childish, half-baked nonsense to the point of being willing, like Obama-Soetoro’s dear friends and mentors, Bill Ayers and his wife Bernadine Dohrn, to murder innocent people.

I have seen no actions, nor heard any words from the Prevaricator-in-Chief to disabuse me of the notion that these are still his prime, driving, ideological beliefs.  While he is indeed incompetent, those who write the speeches for, and pull the strings of the Pinocchio-on-the-Potomac, like global neo-fascist George Soros, are less so, and every destructive policy, executive order, and piece of legislation emanating from this administration has been aimed at damaging the capitalist, constitution-based culture, and republican form of government that has kept us free for well over 200 years.

We need to recognize that the Democrat Party has been taken over by like-minded extreme Marxist radicals and neo-fascists.  And we need to recognize that far too many self-proclaimed conservative Republicans have no problem "reaching across the aisle" and "compromising" with these enemies of America and freedom.  With what is likely to be the most important election in the past 150 years coming up, we need to rid our country of those who would sell us out to totalitarian, global socialism/communism/neo-fascism, and greedy self-interest.

Look carefully at those who are putting themselves up for election.  Check their records.  Find out where their money comes from.  See what organizations they belong to, and were members of in the past.  Be thorough.  We cannot afford any more mistakes.
Surprise!  Obama's ACORN Thugs Are Alive And Preparing For 2012
Matthew Vadum says ACORN is far, far worse than everything you've heard.  It celebrates and promotes the worst pathologies in society in an effort to kill the American experiment in self-governance.

And the rumors of ACORN's death have been greatly exaggerated.  The radical group declared bankruptcy at the end of 2010, but its leaders acknowledge that they are building a new network of activist groups to continue ACORN's work undermining America's free institutions.

As predicted in my new book Subversion, Inc.: How Obama's ACORN Red Shirts are Still Terrorizing and Ripping Off American Taxpayers , ACORN is restructuring in time to help re-elect Obama in 2012.  Obama used to work for ACORN and represented the group in court as its lawyer.

ACORN chief organizer Bertha Lewis has created a group called the Black Institute whose agenda is essentially identical to ACORN's.  ACORN founder Wade Rathke is spreading the gospel of Marxist social justice around the world through his offshoot group ACORN International (also known as Community Organizations International).

State chapters have incorporated themselves under new names.  New York became New York Communities for Change.  California became Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment.  Texas became Texas Organizing Project.  ACORN's vote manufacturing division, Project Vote, still operates under the same name and small-c communist Frances Fox Piven still sits on its board, and on the board of Project Vote, another ACORN entity.  ACORN's housing bubble generator, ACORN Housing, changed its name to Affordable Housing Centers of America.  It's the same people in the same offices and it just goes on and on.

ACORN insiders have admitted that the "new" groups will re-federate under a new name soon.

ACORN is a "boiler room" operation.  Once the authorities get wind of it, it moves and assumes a new name while it seeks out fresh victims.  Long before two conservative activists captured ACORN employees on video offering to assist in the creation of a brothel for pedophiles, ACORN insiders knew the game plan.  They knew the day would come when the ACORN brand was so tarnished it was time to go underground.  After the videos revealed what ACORN was really about, its leaders set about laying the groundwork for ACORN's rebirth.

Now the day of ACORN's resurrection is at hand.

Related:  Obama working to rebuild grassroots army

ACORN has been subverting the electoral system for years.  It's what they do.  Click this link, cursor down the page and read the titles.
Classic Alinsky
Pamela Geller asks, "did you see these tee-shirts on Obama's 2012 campaign site?"

Methinks he dost protest too much.  Imagine an incumbent having to do this -- is it supposed to be funny?  I mean, really.  It's pathetic.

Can't he at least pretend not to hold us in complete contempt?  Could any other candidate for the office run a tee like this and not get his ass handed to him?  And the ObamaMedia wets itself for this usurper.
    
    
RULE 5: "Ridicule is man's most potent weapon."  There is no defense.  It's irrational.  It's infuriating.  It also works as a key pressure point to force the enemy into concessions.

RULE 6: "A good tactic is one 'my people' enjoy."  They'll keep doing it without urging and come back to do more.  They're doing their thing, and will even suggest better ones.

RULE 8: "Keep the pressure on.  Never let up."  I keep trying new things to keep the opposition off balance.  As the opposition masters one approach, I hit them from the flank with something new.

RULE 10: "If I push a negative hard enough, it will push through and become a positive."  The public sympathizes with the underdog.

And the campaign is making money to boot!
Poll Numbers Are Politically Lethal For Obama
Peter Wehner says that two recent polls have come out measuring the mood of the nation, and the results should give David Axelrod nightmares.

One poll, sponsored by The Hill newspaper, found that almost half of American voters (46 percent) say they feel worse off than they did a year ago.  That’s almost three times as many as the 16 percent who feel more affluent today than a year ago.  (Around one-third of voters -- 36 percent -- say their economic situation has remained essentially unchanged from 12 months ago.)  "Almost two years after the recession officially ended, pronounced pessimism about the economy lingers," according to the accompanying Hill story: "It’s worrying for President Obama that voters are especially bleak when asked about their personal circumstances."

Then there’s a new Fox News poll, which found that by wide margins Republicans (82 percent) and independents (71 percent) think the country is weaker now than it was five years ago.  Only 4 percent of Republicans and 9 percent of Democrats say America is stronger today than it was five years ago.  Among Democrats, 47 percent say weaker, only 27 percent say stronger, and 25 percent say the same as before.  Now to be fair, five years ago was 2006, before the Great Recession hit.  (It was also before the Obama presidency hit.)

Taken together, the two polls reinforce what others have said: the American people, by large numbers, are pessimistic, anxious, and believe the trajectory of the nation is downward rather than upward.  We are in the midst of what they perceive to be an American decline.  And that is the kind of thing that can be politically lethal for an incumbent president usurper.
Does Anyone in the GOP Want to Beat Obama?
Wayne Allyn Root says Republican Presidential contenders are melting like tourists on the Vegas Strip, without sunscreen, on a 117 degree day in July.  Doesn’t anyone in the GOP actually want to run against the worst president in modern American history?

It can’t be Obama’s record that’s scaring Republicans.  Obama is overseeing the worst economy since 1929…contributed heavily to the worst sovereign debt crisis in history…presiding over the worst collapse in real estate ever…helping to ensure the highest gas prices in history by refusing to allow oil drilling until recently…the list goes on and on.  You’d think the Republican contenders would be licking their lips at running against that record?  Instead they are falling by the wayside.

Let’s examine the carnage.  This analyst and political pundit predicted Donald Trump’s political career was over three weeks ago when "The Donald" played casino pit boss and F-bombed his way through a Vegas speech.  Have you ever heard of multiple F-bombs in a major political speech in by a presidential contender?  Unimaginable.

Forget the birth certificate controversy.  Trump was still sitting high in the polls even after Obama released his birth certificate.  But there was no escaping using multiple F-bombs on the biggest political stage.  Not in a GOP filled with evangelical Christian voters, and parents who wash their children’s mouth out with soap for using that same word.  Donald "F-bomb" Trump’s political career ended that day in Vegas.

What about Huckabee?  A presidential frontrunner, this former man of God couldn’t turn down fame and money.  Huckabee proves even the presidency isn’t as lucrative as a TV show on Fox News.

Then there’s Newt Gingrich.  I winced as I heard Newt’s words on Sunday.  It’s tough to watch a political career implode on national TV.  Newt’s career is over.  Forget president.  I mean any future political career.  Senator.  Governor.  Dog catcher.  Newt was electrocuted on the third rail of GOP politics.  He supported big government control of our lives, backed the central tenet of ObamaCare, called the GOP proposal for cutting Medicare spending "radical right wing social engineering," and back-stabbed GOP Congressional hero Paul Ryan.  All in one day.  Goodnight Newt.  You and your third wife can go home now.

And then there’s Mitt Romney.  Mitt had the White House for the asking.  One speech apologizing for RomneyCare and promising to never allow it to happen again, and Romney is the next President of the United States.  Here’s the speech that Mitt should have given:
    

"I made a big mistake.  States can act as laboratories for new ideas.  We tried an experiment with government-directed health care in my state.  It didn’t work.  Costs are up.  Waits are up.  Doctors are leaving the state.  The experiment failed.  I was wrong and I apologize.  But good things can come out of failure, if you learn a lesson.  Here’s what I learned.  Big Government cannot manage the nation’s healthcare system…or anything else.  Government drove a brothel into bankruptcy in Nevada.  Government ran gambling (Off Track Betting) into bankruptcy in New York.  Big Government has given you a $14 trillion national debt -- $100 trillion if you add in unfunded liabilities.  Your children and grandchildren face a bleak future because of Big Government.  Big Government is a failure; I proved it in Massachusetts.  I won’t let it happen again.  I’ve learned from my mistake.  I will not allow Obama to destroy our healthcare system by putting the government in charge.  You have my word."  Insert: STANDING OVATION.

    
But no, Mitt didn’t deliver that speech.  He delivered the only speech that could possibly snatch defeat from the jaws of certain victory.  He defended the disaster he created in Massachusetts.  Really?  Could anyone be that blind, deaf and dumb?  Who wrote his speech -- the Chicago Cubs?

Then we come to Libertarian legend Ron Paul.  When it comes to economic issues, Paul is a visionary.  This trailblazer warned America and the GOP about the dangers of big government, overspending and the Fed long before it was hip.  If he ran as a Libertarian or independent third party candidate, Paul might actually have an opportunity to win the presidency, or at least build a serious third party movement.  Unfortunately his views on war, military spending, and Osama will make it highly unlikely he can win a GOP primary.  But I see an ideal role for Congressman Paul in any Republican administration -- Treasury Secretary or Federal Reserve Chief.  Now that would have an impact.

Doesn’t anyone want to beat Obama?  Who’s left?  Tim Pawlenty and Mitch Daniels?  Two boring middle-aged white guys with the charisma of Al Gore?  That’s the best the GOP has?  Watching wet paint dry is more exciting, than watching Pawlenty or Daniels deliver a speech.  Sorry, boys, but wet paint drying isn’t going to defeat Obama.  Not if he has his teleprompter working properly.

Yes others could yet become the dark-horse for the GOP nomination -- Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Gary Johnson, perhaps even Sarah Palin.

But someone in the GOP had better hope that Chris Christie is having a change of heart.  Then get down on your knees and pray.  Pray hard.  Then ring the doorbell of the New Jersey Governor’s mansion and start begging.  Because without a Christie miracle, the worst president in modern history just became the favorite for re-election.
The Vanishing Barack Obama
Kevin "Coach" Collins says that clear eyed observers recognize Barack Obama will not have an easy road to reelection.  A steady stream of poor, and outright suspicious, decisions has become the hallmark of his administration.  He stands exposed as a man overmatched by the demands of his office.  Obama’s well documented failings will provide ample material for whomever the GOP nominates.  Nevertheless, the worst enemy of Obama’s reelection chances may be inexorably building without much notice.

The worst calamity a candidate can face is being laughed at, but the second worst is being ignored.  Evidence that the voting public may be ignoring Obama is building and this portents great danger for his reelection.

There was a time not long ago when people stopped whatever they were doing to hear an American president’s speech.  This was the case at the beginning of Obama’s administration.  In December 2009 almost 41 million people stopped whatever they had going to watch Obama’s speech about Afghanistan.  Last June, when he spoke to us about the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico those who viewed his speech numbered 32.1 million.  His August 2010 talk on Iraq had 29.2 million viewers which was bad enough, but substantially better than the alarmingly low 25.5 million who tuned in for his speech on Libya.

Since the beginning of Obama’s term of office, the Rasmussen poll has reported on the difference between the percentages of likely voters who strongly approve of Obama and those likely voters who strongly disapprove of him.  On his first day in office, Obama enjoyed a huge PLUS SIDE advantage of about 30 points.  He stayed in plus territory until the middle of August 2009 when the spread fell into the negative where it has stayed ever since.  While this negative spread has held at about 12 points on average with a low of -22, finding the real significance of these numbers requires a closer look.

Not only have Obama’s strongly approve numbers slid ever downward, his strongly disapprove numbers are sliding in virtual lockstep as well.  Both are now at levels showing nearly 60% of likely voters have made up their minds about Obama, and 61% of them don’t care what he says.

Obama and his advisers must recognize the dark shadow of apathy engulfing his presidency.  Why else would they release a putatively genuine birth certificate so early in this cycle?  Why would they execute bin Laden now when they were obviously sitting on certain knowledge of his whereabouts for months?  Why else would Obama try to convince us he is ready to drill all over the country?

Why would Obama be "burning the furniture to stay warm"?  Could it be because he is feeling ignored?
Obama Heading For Electoral Disaster In 2012
Nile Gardiner says on a recent visit to London I was struck by how much faith many British politicians, journalists and political advisers have in Barack Obama being re-elected in 2012.  In the aftermath of the hugely successful Special Forces operation that took out Osama Bin Laden and a modest spike in the polls for him, the conventional wisdom among political elites in Britain is overwhelmingly that Obama will win another four years in the Oval Office.  Add to this a widespread perception of continuing disarray in the Republican race, as well as a State Visit to London that had the chattering classes worshipping at the feet of the US president, and you can easily see why Obama's prospects look a lot rosier from across the Atlantic.

But back in the United States, the reality looks a lot different.  Many political leaders in Britain fail to understand the degree to which the American people are deeply unhappy with Obama's poor handling of the economy.  Nor have they grasped the epic scale of the defeat suffered by him in the November mid-terms, and the emphatic rejection by a clear majority of Americans of the Big Government Obama agenda.

Just seven months ago, the United States was swept by a conservative revolution that fundamentally transformed the political landscape on Capitol Hill, and gravely weakened the ability of Obama to pass legislation.  This revolution is not in retreat but gaining ground, led by charismatic figures such as Paul Ryan, the Reaganite chairman of the House Budget Committee, entrusted with reining in out of control government spending.  And as a Gallup poll showed, America is unquestionably a conservative country ideologically, but one that is ironically led by the most left-wing president in the nation's history.

Ultimately, the 2012 presidential election will be decided by the state of the economy, and new data released this week makes grim reading for the White House.  In fact you cannot watch a US financial news network at the moment, from Bloomberg to CNBC to Fox Business, without a great deal of pessimism about the dire condition of the world's biggest economy.  66 percent of Americans now worry the federal government will run out of money in the face of towering public debts.

To say this has been an extremely bad week for the Obama administration on the economic front would be a serious understatement.  As The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday, home prices in the United States have sunk to their lowest levels since 2002, falling 4.2 percent in the first quarter of 2011.  At the same time, employment growth is stalling, with only 38,000 Americans added to the workforce in May, the smallest increase since September.  This compares with 179,000 jobs added in April.  There has also been a steep slowdown in the manufacturing sector, and a downturn in the stock market on the back of weak economic news.

Bill Clinton's labor secretary Robert Reich summed up the grim mood in a hard-hitting op-ed in The Financial Times, which took aim at both the administration and Congress:
    

The US economy was supposed to be in bloom by late spring, but it is hardly growing at all.  Expectations for second-quarter growth are not much better than the measly 1.8 per cent annualized rate of the first quarter.  That is not nearly fast enough to reduce America's ferociously high level of unemployment…  Meanwhile, housing prices continue to fall.  They are now 33 per cent below their 2006 peak.  That is a bigger drop than recorded in the Great Depression.  Homes are the largest single asset of the American middle class, so as housing prices drop many Americans feel poorer.  All of this is contributing to a general gloominess.  Not surprisingly, consumer confidence is also down.

    
Unsurprisingly, the polls are again looking problematic for Obama.  The latest Rasmussen Presidential Tracking Poll shows just 25 percent of Americans strongly approving of his performance, with 36 percent strongly disapproving, for a Presidential Approval Index rating of minus 11 points.  In a projected match up between Obama and a Republican opponent, Obama now trails by two points according to Rasmussen -- 43 to 45.  The RealClear Politics poll of polls shows just over a third of Americans (34.5 percent) agreeing that the country is heading in the right direction, with nearly three fifths (56.8 percent) believing it is heading down the wrong track.  That negative figure rises to a staggering 66 percent of likely voters in a new Rasmussen survey, including 41 percent of Democrats.

There is no feel good factor in America at the moment.  But there is a great deal of uncertainty, nervousness, even fear over the future of the world's only superpower.  This is hardly a solid foundation for a presidential victory for the incumbent.  Even though we don't know yet who he will be up against, Barack Obama could well go into 2012 as the underdog rather than the favorite he is frequently portrayed as.  On balance we're likely to see a very close race 17 months from now.  But there is also the distinct possibility of an electoral rout of Obama if the economy goes further south.  "Hope and change" might have played well in 2008, but it is a message that will likely ring hollow in November 2012, with an American public that is deeply disillusioned with the direction Obama is taking the country.
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