Skip to comments.Victor Davis Hanson: Why Romney Has a Real Chance (It's more like ABO!)
Posted on 04/19/2012 2:35:46 PM PDT by neverdem
The odds of defeating an incumbent president should be slim but they are in fact at least 50/50. Here are some reasons that this is true.
1) Romney is a more experienced and better candidate than he was in 2008. That often happens after a run or two. Nixon was tougher in 1968 than in 1960 in the way that Reagan was wiser in 1980 than in 1968 and 1976, and George H. W. Bush was better in 1988 than in 1980. McCain ran more effectively in the primaries in 2008 than he did in 2000. The Republican primary rough-housing sharpened Romneys debating skills, and he seems far more comfortable than he was four years ago.
2) The old mantra that at some point the massive $5 trillion borrowing, the feds near-zero interest rate policies, and the natural cycle of recovery after a recession would kick in before the election increasingly appears somewhat dubious. The recovery is anemic, and seems stymied by high gas costs, fears over Obamacare, and a new feeling that lots of businesspeople with capital are strangely holding off, either scared of what more of Obamas statist policies have in store for them, or in anger about being demonized by Obama, or in hopes Romney might win. The net result is that the recovery by November might not be as strong as was thought six months ago.
3) Romney is going to be a lot tougher on Obama than was McCain in 2008. For all the complaints against his moderation by the tea-party base, they will slowly rally to him as he makes arguments against Obama of the sort that McCain was perceived as unable or unwilling to make. So far Romneys attitude is that he is in the arena where blows come thick and fast, and one cant whine when being hit or hitting a view far preferable to McCains lectures about what not to say or do in 2008. Left-wing preemptory charges that Romney is swift-boating or going negative will probably have slight effect on him. Just as Bill Clinton saw that Dukakis in 1988 had wanted to be liked rather than feared and so himself ran a quite different, tough 1992 race, so too Romney knows where McCains magnanimity got him in 2008. Romney wont be liked by the press, knows it, and perhaps now welcomes it.
4) In 2008 Rudy Giulianis idea that Obama was out of the mainstream and a Chicago-style community organizer was not pressed in fear of the counter-charges that one was racialist or at least insensitive to the historic Obama candidacy. In 2012, there is a record, not an image or precedent, to vote for or against; and Romney will find it far easier to take down Obama than McCain found in 2008. That Obama did not reinvent the world as promised wont mean that his supporters will vote for Romney, only that they wont come out in the numbers or with the money as they did in 2008. There is no margin of error in 2012 and turnout will be everything for Obama.
5) The Republicans seem so far to have a lot more interest in defeating Obama than Democrats do in reelecting him. That enthusiasm level can change; but so far we are not going to see, I think, a lot of moderate Republicans writing about Obamas sartorial flair and his first-class temperament, or screeds against a Republican incumbent. One meets lots of people who sheepishly confess they voted for Obama in 2008 but learned their lesson, less so those who regret that they voted for McCain and now promise to rectify that.
6) Obama is a great front-runner who can afford to talk of unity and magnanimity, but when behind he seems to revert to churlishness and petulance. The more he references Bush, the mess in 2008, tsunamis, and the EU meltdown, the more one wants to ask: When will he ever get a life? Them versus us is not hope and change.
7) Ann Romney, whether she is used in a more partisan style or more in the manner of a reticent Laura Bush, is an invaluable asset, both her narrative and her grace a treasury really that somehow was under-appreciated in 2008 but wont be in 2012.
8) Obama is becoming repetitive and tiring in his speechifying in a way that Carter did by late summer 1980 and George H. W. Bush did in 1992. Before he gets to the podium, Americans anticipate that he will blame someone for a current problem rather than introducing a positive solution and they are beginning to get to the further point that they cannot only anticipate the villains of the hour, but the manner in which Obama will weave together the usual straw men, the formulaic let me perfectly clear. make no mistake about it, and the fat-cat/pay-your-fair share vocabulary. The public finally grows tired of whiners and blamers.
9) Juan Williams and others have made the argument that race explains the disenchantment of the white male working-class voter. I think that is hardly persuasive: Give that clinger voter just a year of 5 percent unemployment, $2-a-gallon gas, 4 percent GDP growth, a balanced budget, and he would gladly vote for Obama. The better point is not that race is a determinant in 2012 but that the charge has lost its currency. The minority of working-class white male voters who voted for Obama in 2008 was vastly higher than the percentage of African-Americans of all classes and both genders who voted for McCain, a moderate Republican who one would have thought might have gotten a larger percentage of the black vote than did George W. Bush. Based on percentages in 2008, I think that one could logically infer that the number of blacks who did not vote Republican as they had once done in the past was larger than the number of white male working-class voters who did not vote Democratic as they had in the past. Playing the race card in 2012 will prove a boomerang, especially if the Sharpton-Jackson nexus turns the Martin case into a reverse O. J. trial, and if Holder or Obama editorialize any more, or revert to the exhausting stupidly, punish our enemies, cowards, my people, tropes.
10) It is no longer cool, the thing to do, neat, or making a statement to vote for Obama. The 2008 lemming effect is over; no one believes any more that he will lower the seas or wants to believe that he can. Michelles lightness/darkness biblical image is hokey not moving. The fading 2008 Obama bumper stickers are no longer proof of ones noble nature.
That's not saying much. I didn't even know he was a candidate in 2000.
Hanson says this “recovery is anemic.”
I’ve been wondering for a while now why everyone keeps calling it a “recovery” at all!!?
11. Obama and the Democrats are so completely self-deluded inside the bubble that they continue to campaign as if OWS actually did represent “the 99%”.
12. And even if they believe that balls-to-the-wall Socialism is a winning formula, they are offering a half-assed, bolluxed-up version that will never convince the true believers.
Call me crazy, but I think if Obama is on the ballot in November, it will be a blowout of epic proportions, that makes the Democrat losses in 2010 look like nothing but a Preview of Coming Attrations.
Far more likely, IMHO, the Democrats pull a Torricelli Switch and get Obama off the ballot. Nobody is going to want to ride his coat-tails to defeat.
I predict a big Obama loss. Romney just needs to remain an “acceptable” candidate and point out what a bad job Obama has done, and he should win easily.
Romney will win all of the Bush states, plus PA and WI, and will challenge in many other blue states. He should win comfortably.
It would be unprecedented for Obama to win. No president has ever been re-elected with such poor support numbers. It seems that much of America has Obama-fatigue.
In 2008, there were at least plausible reasons for the average sheeple American to take a gamble on Mr. Hope-n-Change. He ran on the heels of an unpopular incumbent, an unpopular war, an economic collapse, an incompetent GOP opponent, and a fawning, adoring media that refused to vet him and actively promoted him. He ran as a movement, and a lot of suckers bought it.
He can’t hide this time. Granted, the American electorate is capable of being stupid (that’s how we ended up with this clown in the first place). But we usually self-correct.
That’s why Romney was not necessary. We should have nominated a true conservative. This was the year to do it.
1. If Zero is forced off, then that demographic turnout will be very low and very bitter. It may depress their turn out for future elections also.
2. If Zero leaves voluntarily say to ‘spend more time with his family’ then the turn out will still be suppressed. Depending on how its spun will depend on the level of suppression.
Both of the above options are very bad for the Rats, it could cost them some more legislative seats, maybe a governorship or two, some state legislators, etc in swing districts. That's why I don't think it will happen. Also Zero's ego wouldn't let him do that! They are stuck with him, all they can do is pray for a miracle. (Like a huge GOP gaffe, something Romney (if its Romney!) could easily do!) I think they will just ride out this storm and blame his defeat on racist America.
If the trend continues and Romney is leading the polls by the time their convention rolls around I will gurantee that Biden gets his walking papers and Hilary is brought out to save them.....
President Romney would be far worse than Obama. At least, the RINO’s won’t support Obama’s programs. The RINO’s will support Obama-like programs pushed by a President Romney.
Romney must be defeated at all costs.
So, is that going to happen inside the next ~60 days before the USSC rules on Obamacare or in the 120 days before the election and after the USSC votes down Obamacare?
If he's off the ballot and it gets to linked to a consequence of his defeat at USSC, I'd dare any (D) to slink their ass on to that ballot.
I ask you what could any other (D) possibly run on and cull together an ample-enough following and media push for in just 120 days?
Assuming defeat in the USSC, holding the (D) nomination for any one this time around will be radioactive.
If USSC upholds it, you'll have no greater motivator to get (R)'s to the polls to make sure Obamacare dies in 2013.
I agree. As obama gets more divisive and petulant - he is going to turn off even more people.
At this point the midterms are going to look like NOTHING compared to what is coming as the economy goes back in the toilet.
He don't have that hard hitting McCain to bedevil him THIS time!
Thats why Romney was not necessary. We should have nominated a true conservative. This was the year to do it.
What an understatement! I think the fear of another Obama administration caused too many to play it safe with Romney. If Romney wins, he won't be trusted, at least by anyone to the right of McCain, and that's most of the party.
Sadly it looks like Romney’s it! Being here in New England for the last 30 years, Romney is the most conservative that could get elected in Mass for any job, he is in fact more conservative than Scott Brown, which most here understand isn’t saying much. I can’t in good concience give him money, or advance him to anyone. I will do what I did when McCain won the primary, I voted for Sarah Palin not John McCain! Here’s hoping Romney pick’s a real conservative as VP. I will vote for the VP instead of Romney.
We in this forum knew, but there are the great unwashed who only get their news from the lame stream media that didn't vet Obama. There's a whole bunch of moderates and independents who don't think about politics until the last few weeks before an election.
I disagree. Fear of the Tea Party caused the GOP-E to push Romney. They'd rather lose with a RINO than win with a Tea Party conservative.
The major, monumental, end-all, be-all FACT in this race is the LOUSY ECONOMY. It’s worse than Carter’s cluster fluke.
The only way O’BowWow wiggles out of this is by starting a MAJOR WAR.
This is how they continually move to the left, the GOPe know that they could have run anyone, but they chose the most liberal of the bunch, and I am sure they actively discouraged some better candidates.
I disagree. The GOP-E doesn't have the votes to push. The Tea Party movement is not very organized, its influence was attenuated by the Great Recession's effect on small donors, the Citizens United decision backfired with superpacs for Romney, too many candidates to the right of Romney from various perspectives and too many states with open primaries.
Romney, Obama, what’s the difference. God Romney sucks.
This has been my contention for some time, but I think that Hillary will be at the top of the ticket, and someone else will be in the second spot. I don't think Hillary will accept second spot to anyone.
Then the solution is that the RINO's must go- e.g. Dick Lugar, Olympia Snowe.
“Ive been wondering for a while now why everyone keeps calling it a ‘recovery’ at all!!?”
It’s economics jargon, with a more or less precise formal technical definition. If the economy has negative growth (whatever that stupid term means; it’s not growth if it’s negative, it’s shrinkage) for two consecutive quarters, or whatever, according to whatever official measure they use, we’re in a recession. If it stops shrinking, we’re in recovery.
Doesn’t matter how many people are unemployed, how much we’re inflating, how many sectors of the economy are still shrinking, etc. So long as the macroeconomy has stopped getting worse, they call it “recovery.”
Obama has the advantage of incumbency. He has the media. He has the unions. He has all government workers. He has everyone on the public dole. He has limitless financial resources. He has the “Chicago way” of fraud, now on a national scale.
Romney generates 0 enthusiasm among conservatives.
Odds favor Obama’s re-election.
The GOP-E does have the dirty tricks, the complicit media, the K-Street crowd, and Rove out there to bash conservatives. I watched them do it. Iowa, Virginia, Florida, to name a few.
To hell with the GOP. I will NEVER vote for Romney.
Obama has been cooking the economic books, and will continue to do so. No matter how bad the economy actually is, the media will never report that fact. They will just keep touting Obama’s “recovery.”
Victor David Hanson... uber RINO!
We must do everything possible to stop Romney!
So sayeth the powers that be... here.
Makes you wonder, don’t it?
The last that I read was that Victor David Hanson was a registered democrat.
Perhaps as the campaign goes on, you will reconsider that sentiment — vote against Obama and then work within the system to force conservative values back into WDC through the House and the Senate.
Best you re-think your position!
Obama must be defeated at all cost!
A conservative House and Senate, with conservative leadership, can force Romney our way.
It is for damn sure that if Obama wins four more years, he will destroy America, and we cannot be part of that!
VDH is pretty much spot on. The Obama ‘hope and change’ has morphed in to hopeless and unchanged. It is now no hope but we still do want to change - from Obama.
Dude, you’re blowing all your credibility as a rational political analyst with statement like that.
Oh, well, we all have our chinks in the armor.
I won't enable the GOP-E. They have done that for a few elections. And folks like you are enabling them. And they keep moving to the left.
I have every confidence that the TEA Party conservatives can eventually take over the Republican Party.
But, I’ll tell you this: If everyone in the USA who knows that an Obama re-election would destroy America, yet whines and pouts about “our” guy not being conservative enough and sits the election out or works against the Republican nominee, there will be no opportunity to take over the Republican Party.
It will be outlawed by the second Obama administration, and the US will become a one-party country — think Communist Russia and the rest of the former Iron Curtain countries.
All of you Romney naysayers will have a lot of ‘splainin’ to do unless you get off your ass, quit whining and pouting, and help us run Obama out of Washington, DC.
Lets win the damn election and then REALLY get to work!
See my post #41.
Heed my post #41!
I am not enabling them!
I am voting against pure Evil, and working within the system to force conservative values into the Republican Party.
Your way enables the Evil that the Democrats represent, and you want to burn the Republican house down because there are a few fleas in it.
I want to fumigate the house, kill the fleas and use it as headquarters to wage war on the Evil Democrats!
VDH sellout...going with Rombot the leftist controlled tool. Sinking to a whole new low here folks. Wow..if only we hadn’t learned so much form the Internets that Gore created.
I heard that crap during the Clinton re-election when the GOP-E put up another liberal. I didn't vote for him either.
And I will never, ever vote for Romney. He is evil. And I won't enable evil and I won't enable the GOP-E to keep killing off conservatives.
I'm not a republican. I'm a conservative.
You are, because they know they can count on your vote, no matter what crap liberal they put up, just to get a GOP win. They laugh at you, and take you for granted. But like an abused woman, this time will be different.
I'm not buying it. GOP can go to hell until they put up a conservtive.
The moves to the left, even in the Republican party...it's all so "progressive" don't ya think?
My problem with Romney isn’t that he might not defeat Obama; it’s that he will. GOP primary voters were in a unique position to pick more than a candidate this cycle. They were really picking the next president. Any Republican who isn’t named Ron Paul could beat Obama. It’s truly a shame that they picked the one guy in the field who’s the most similar to Obama. They’ve squandered a historic opportunity.
What you said!
That's not saying much. I didn't even know he was a candidate in 2000.
Exactly his point, of course.
In 2008 a good solid campaign even by McCain, free of sabotage, would have been down to the wire and may well have won. Romney 2012 is far better positioned and a stronger man than McCain was. All those rooting for Romney to lose should read 'em and weep. I wish he was a conservative too but I am glad he will skunk the degenerate Usurper.