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Commentary & Opinion
Wed September 12, 2012
Herbert London: Why Obama Loses In November
The polls don’t indicate it and my colleagues don’t believe it, but I think there are many reasons to assume Mitt Romney will be the next President of the United States. For one thing, the Romney candidacy is less significant than what is emerging as a referendum on the Obama presidency. President Obama has gone negative attempting to point out why voters should not support Romney, but he has not provided a narrative for his own support. In fact, with an approval rating of 47 percent he is losing the pro Obama constituents.
Second, bread and butter issues count. With the unemployment rate likely to remain above eight percent by November, it is clear the president’s stimulus efforts have not worked. No emcumbent running for president has been reelected with an unemployment rate over seven percent. Moreover, the present unemployment rate does not take into account those who have stopped looking for a job.
Third, while a majority of those polled approve of the president’s foreign policy initiatives, his inability to halt the Iranian surge for nuclear weapons has created widespread uneasiness.
Fourth, the Jewish vote – while relatively small in size – has an influence beyond the magnitude of its vote in financial support and media saturation. In 2008 Obama obtained 78 percent of Jewish voters. According to recent polls his support has been reduced to 57 percent.
Fifth, the president’s campaign team has called for the submission of all of Romney’s tax forms, with Senator Reid acting as the attack dog. As I see it, this strategy is likely to backfire. If transparency is called for, the Romney team should demand that Obama’s Columbia and Occidental records be unsealed and he should be asked to explain why he registered for Social Security in Connecticut, a state in which he never resided. What is good for the goose should be good for the gander.
Sixth, key states in this campaign are led by Republican governors: Ohio, Florida, Virginia, Indiana. In addition, the president’s approval of homosexual marriage has virtually assured a victory for Romney in North Carolina. Potential swing states such as New Mexico, Nevada, South Carolina, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania are led by active Republican governors.
Seventh, the novelty of electing an African American president has passed. Many who did so in the last election believed America was beyond racial politics. However, the president’s hasty reaction to the Skip Gates arrest and the Trevon Martin murder reveals an instinctive racial orientation.
Eighth, those who have come to know Barack Obama well (vide: former President Bill Clinton) describe him as inept and “over his head.” Even media cover-ups cannot erase malapropisms such as “campaigning in 57 states,” the mispronunciation of “corpsman” and “Austrian as the language of Austria.”
Ninth, a presidential desire to spread the wealth and impose punitive taxes on those earning more than $200,000 has led to the belief the president has socialist impulses. As Abraham Lincoln noted you cannot make a poor man rich by making a rich man poor. That axiomatic American claim is still embraced by most Americans.
Tenth, Obama’s numerous golf outings (four times more frequently than President Bush) and his forays into New York on Air Force One for a night at the theater suggest to many in the public an elitist sentiment. It is also noteworthy that Michele Obama has more assistants than any first lady in our national history.
Eleventh, Obamacare may be the most unpopular legislative act in our history. The belief that a government bureaucrat can insinuate himself between a doctor and patient on treatment provisions is a condition most Americans consider unacceptable. In addition, the transfer of $700 billion from Medicare to Medicaid suggests, willy nilly, insensitivity to the elderly, a constituency that does not sit out elections.
Twelfth, dissimulation has caught up with President Obama. He said the Stimulus Bill would reduce unemployment. When it didn’t, he said it wasn’t designed to do so. He spoke of an unshakeable bond with Israel and then argued Israel should return to the ’67 borders.
Last, the selection of Paul Ryan as Romney’s running mate offers a hopeful sign of renewal for the Republican party and the nation. Since Ryan has been the one Republican with a plan for reducing deficits and the overall debt, he is in the forefront of reform and a lightning rod who will absorb much of the Democratic criticism leveled at Mitt Romney. Republican pundits such as Mark McKinnon have criticized the selection, but Ryan is not Sarah Palin. He is decidedly a voice for principle at a time the public craves it.
Any one of these factors would not be determinative. In the aggregate, however, they produce an effect that indicates an Obama defeat and a Romney victory. Of course, we won’t know the result till November. But, as I see it, the die is cast.
Herbert London is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, president emeritus of Hudson Institute and author of the book The Transformational Decade (University Press of America).
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