Washington Post: One and done: To be a great president, Obama should not seek reelection in 2012

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    Nov 13, 2010 3:37 PM GMT
    President Obama must decide now how he wants to govern in the two years leading up to the 2012 presidential election.

    In recent days, he has offered differing visions of how he might approach the country's problems. At one point, he spoke of the need for "mid-course corrections." At another, he expressed a desire to take ideas from both sides of the aisle. And before this month's midterm elections, he said he believed that the next two years would involve "hand-to-hand combat" with Republicans, whom he also referred to as "enemies."

    It is clear that the president is still trying to reach a resolution in his own mind as to what he should do and how he should do it.

    This is a critical moment for the country. From the faltering economy to the burdensome deficit to our foreign policy struggles, America is suffering a widespread sense of crisis and anxiety about the future. Under these circumstances, Obama has the opportunity to seize the high ground and the imagination of the nation once again, and to galvanize the public for the hard decisions that must be made. The only way he can do so, though, is by putting national interests ahead of personal or political ones.

    To that end, we believe Obama should announce immediately that he will not be a candidate for reelection in 2012.

    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. 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.

    We do not come to this conclusion lightly. But it is clear, we believe, that the president has largely lost the consent of the governed. The midterm elections were effectively a referendum on the Obama presidency. And even if it was not an endorsement of a Republican vision for America, the drubbing the Democrats took was certainly a vote of no confidence in Obama and his party. The president has almost no credibility left with Republicans and little with independents.

    The best way for him to address both our national challenges and the serious threats to his credibility and stature is to make clear that, for the next two years, he will focus exclusively on the problems we face as Americans, rather than the politics of the moment - or of the 2012 campaign.

    Quite simply, given our political divisions and economic problems, governing and campaigning have become incompatible. Obama can and should dispense with the pollsters, the advisers, the consultants and the strategists who dissect all decisions and judgments in terms of their impact on the president's political prospects.

    Obama himself once said to Diane Sawyer: "I'd rather be a really good one-term president than a mediocre two-term president." He now has the chance to deliver on that idea.

    In the 2008 presidential campaign, Obama spoke repeatedly of his desire to end the red-state-blue-state divisions in America and to change the way Washington works. This was a central reason he was elected; such aspirations struck a deep chord with the polarized electorate.

    Obama can restore the promise of the election by forging a government of national unity, welcoming business leaders, Republicans and independents into the fold. But if he is to bring Democrats and Republicans together, the president cannot be seen as an advocate of a particular party, but as somebody who stands above politics, seeking to forge consensus. And yes, the United States will need nothing short of consensus if we are to reduce the deficit and get spending under control, to name but one issue.

    Forgoing another term would not render Obama a lame duck. Paradoxically, it would grant him much greater leverage with Republicans and would make it harder for opponents such as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) - who has flatly asserted that his highest priority is to make Obama a one-term president - to be uncooperative.

    And for Democrats such as current Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) - who has said that entitlement reform is dead on arrival - the president's new posture would make it much harder to be inflexible. Given the influence of special interests on the Democratic Party, Obama would be much more effective as a figure who could remain above the political fray. Challenges such as boosting economic growth and reducing the deficit are easier to tackle if you're not constantly worrying about the reactions of senior citizens, lobbyists and unions.

    Moreover, if the president were to demonstrate a clear degree of bipartisanship, it would force the Republicans to meet him halfway. If they didn't, they would look intransigent, as the GOP did in 1995 and 1996, when Bill Clinton first advocated a balanced budget. Obama could then go to the Democrats for tough cuts to entitlements and look to the Republicans for difficult cuts on defense.

    On foreign policy, Obama could better make hard decisions about Iran, North Korea and Afghanistan based on what is reasonable and responsible for the United States, without the political constraints of a looming election. He would be able to deal with a Democratic constituency that wants to get out of Afghanistan immediately and a Republican constituency that is committed to the war, forging a course that responds not to the electoral calendar but to the facts on the ground.

    If the president adopts our suggestion, both sides will be forced to compromise. The alternative, we fear, will put the nation at greater risk. While we believe that Obama can be reelected, to do so he will have to embark on a scorched-earth campaign of the type that President George W. Bush ran in the 2002 midterms and the 2004 presidential election, which divided Americans in ways that still plague us.

    Obama owes his election in large measure to the fact that he rejected this approach during his historic campaign. Indeed, we were among those millions of Democrats, Republicans and independents who were genuinely moved by his rhetoric and purpose. Now, the only way he can make real progress is to return to those values and to say that for the good of the country, he will not be a candidate in 2012.

    Should the president do that, he - and the country - would face virtually no bad outcomes. The worst-case scenario for Obama? In January 2013, he walks away from the White House having been transformative in two ways: as the first black president, yes, but also as a man who governed in a manner unmatched by any modern leader. He will have reconciled the nation, continued the economic recovery, gained a measure of control over the fiscal problems that threaten our future, and forged critical solutions to our international challenges. He will, at last, be the figure globally he has sought to be, and will almost certainly leave a better regarded president than he is today. History will look upon him kindly - and so will the public.

    It is no secret that we have been openly critical of the president in recent days, but we make this proposal with the deepest sincerity and hope for him and for the country.

    We have both advised presidents facing great national crises and have seen challenges from inside the Oval Office. We are convinced that if Obama immediately declares his intention not to run for reelection, he will be able to unite the country, provide national and international leadership, escape the hold of the left, isolate the right and achieve results that would be otherwise unachievable.

    Patrick H. Caddell, who was a pollster and senior adviser to President Jimmy Carter, is a political commentator. Douglas E. Schoen, a pollster who worked for President Bill Clinton, is the author of "Mad as Hell: How the Tea Party Movement Is Fundamentally Remaking Our Two-Party System." They will be online Monday, Nov. 1
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    Nov 13, 2010 3:43 PM GMT
    "The president has almost no credibility left with Republicans..."

    ROFL, sorry the earnestness in this statement by the author is funny.

    I'm trying to think of a time when the Republicans gave Obama any credibility.

    -Doug
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    Nov 13, 2010 3:56 PM GMT
    jprichva saidYes, Obama should really be taking advice from the right-wing Washington Post. /snort/


    That sort of shows where you stand in the political spectrum if you view the Washington Post as "right wing". As a reminder:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/11/07/AR2008110702895.html
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    Nov 13, 2010 3:57 PM GMT
    Thanks for posting. Excellent piece from two senior advisors to Democrats. There is a precedent. LBJ decided to not seek reelection. He was tangled up in Viet Nam, his popularity also plummeted. He made the decision in a prime time TV address,

    http://www.historyplace.com/speeches/lbj-decision.htm

    The last part of that address:

    With America's sons in the fields far away, with America's future under challenge right here at home, with our hopes and the world's hopes for peace in the balance every day, I do not believe that I should devote an hour or a day of my time to any personal partisan causes or to any duties other than the awesome duties of this office--the Presidency of your country.

    Accordingly, I shall not seek, and I will not accept, the nomination of my party for another term as your President.

    But let men everywhere know, however, that a strong, a confident, and a vigilant America stands ready tonight to seek an honorable peace--and stands ready tonight to defend an honored cause--whatever the price, whatever the burden, whatever the sacrifice that duty may require.

    Thank you for listening.

    Good night and God bless all of you.

    President Lyndon B. Johnson - March 31, 1968


    I don't think Obama has the character to do anything similar. In addition to his damaged credibility at home, he has lost the respect of the world leaders. Imagine this past week in Korea, French and German leaders lecturing him on too much US spending. He has become the laughing stock of the world, and will have significantly less influence going forward. There is a leadership vacuum both domestically and internationally.
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    Nov 13, 2010 4:00 PM GMT
    The two men who wrote this are Fox "Democrats" who appear regularly on Faux News and attack Obama. Here's a good response to that op-ed:

    Jason LinkinsDouglas Schoen and Patrick Caddell are best known for going on the Fox News Channel, where they pretend to be "Democratic strategists." But unlike virtually every other Democratic strategist in the Western world, the two men show a studied disinterest in and a complete antipathy for any of the policies and philosophies for which the Democratic Party is best known. This is because the two men are disingenuous hacks. And another well-known forum of disingenuous hackery is the Washington Post editorial page, where today, the two men appear with advice for President Barack Obama. Naturally, it's terrible advice:

    This is a critical moment for the country. From the faltering economy to the burdensome deficit to our foreign policy struggles, America is suffering a widespread sense of crisis and anxiety about the future. Under these circumstances, Obama has the opportunity to seize the high ground and the imagination of the nation once again, and to galvanize the public for the hard decisions that must be made. The only way he can do so, though, is by putting national interests ahead of personal or political ones.


    To that end, we believe Obama should announce immediately that he will not be a candidate for reelection in 2012.


    Yes. What a fine idea! Quitting on America, in the manner of a Sarah Palin, is sure to send a powerful message of leadership and responsibility. When the going gets hard, politically, go home. I'm stirred! Are you stirred?

    Why is this a good idea, again?

    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. 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.

    Oh, right. The gridlock, it shall be solved in this manner. Based upon what I've witnessed in Washington over the past two years, Obama should have immediately announced he wouldn't seek a second term as president during his Inauguration speech, right? Because then, the GOP would have surely not retreated to the position of pointlessly obstructing everything, reflexively. Seeing as all that pointless obstruction didn't cost the GOP anything at the polls, they are sure to start compromising if they win an agreement from Obama that he will pave the way for Mitt Romney to win the presidency in 2012.

    Look, as I've said recently, we can all look back at that time Obama promised to "change Washington" and agree that it was a stupid promise to make. But it's an even stupider promise to hold him to it, considering it takes, as they say, "two to tango," and there are few people across the aisle willing to show up to the dance.

    Whether you want to believe it or not, the facts are these: Big, contentious pieces of legislation, like health-care reform, embraced a multitude of GOP concerns. Republican members may have voted against the stimulus package, but they've been reliable sluts for the money after the fact. And they've been invited to play a part in the process as well: For months, the White House courted Chuck Grassley's health-care-reform support just as hard as they could as a member of Max Baucus' "Gang of Six."

    What Schoen and Caddell suggest will hardly "drain the poison from our culture of polarization." It will, in fact, surrender to it and entrench it forever.

    Of course, the Democrats got drubbed at the polls in November, because unemployment is so high that most Americans can't think about anything else. Of course, the people that Caddell and Schoen now suggest that Obama should capitulate to are the very same who opposed extending the lifeline of unemployment benefits to these desperate Americans. Obama would really be seen to be "focus[ing] exclusively on the problems we face as Americans, rather than the politics of the moment," if he joined forces with that crowd! (Obama could, if he so desired, seek out the counsel of the Democrats who did join with that crowd, but if he wants to do that, he'd better hurry: most of them won't be around in Washington, D.C., much longer!)

    If you do a close reading of this terrible advice, it's pretty clear what Schoen and Caddell want. When they advise, "Obama can restore the promise of the election by forging a government of national unity, bringing business leaders, Republicans and independents into the fold," you'll note that "a government of national unity" is one that explicitly excludes Democrats. And when they maintain, "the president cannot be seen as an advocate of a particular party," you need to realize that this is not advice that they would ever give to a member of the Republican Party.

    As the piece wends on, things just get more and more hilarious:

    Forgoing another term would not render Obama a lame duck. Paradoxically, it would grant him much greater leverage with Republicans and would make it harder for opponents such as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) -- who has flatly asserted that his highest priority is to make Obama a one-term president -- to be uncooperative.

    How would this be accomplished? Magic? Why on earth would Mitch McConnell be more flexible with someone who surrenders to him? I am pretty sure that McConnell is not that stupid. But these authors insist that capitulation would somehow make it "harder" for the GOP "to be inflexible" and that it "would force the Republicans to meet him halfway." Halfway to where, exactly?

    If they didn't, they would look intransigent, as the GOP did in 1995 and 1996, when Bill Clinton first advocated a balanced budget.

    Oh, right! I totally remember that time in 1996 when the GOP learned a bitter lesson about their own intransigence, which is why they were just too ashamed of themselves in 1998 to impeach Clinton!

    He would be able to deal with a Democratic constituency that wants to get out of Afghanistan immediately and a Republican constituency that is committed to winning the war, forging a middle way that responds not to the electoral calendar but to the facts on the ground.

    Are these two not up on current events? The middle way has already been decided: We will stay in Afghanistan and not win the war until at least 2014!

    While we believe that Obama can be reelected, to do so he will have to embark on a scorched-earth campaign of the type that President George W. Bush ran in the 2002 midterms and the 2004 presidential election, which divided Americans in ways that still plague us.

    I don't know what 2002 and 2004 these two were watching, but, in fact, acrimonious divisions over policy and process were not a feature of either. Those two campaigns can be essentially summarized as George W. Bush shrieking "Booga-Booga! September 11th!" over and over and over again.

    During that time, the Democrats were largely following the sort of advice Schoen and Caddell recommend today: They were basically capitulating to Bush's view of the world, lest they be painted as un-American pantywaists. Let's recall that in 2004, the best John Kerry could do as far as opposing the Iraq War was to say that it was something that he sometimes was for, sometimes against, but while it was a bad idea and a terrible strategy to counter global terrorism, the best thing America could do would be to allow him to manage that terrible strategy.

    Here's where the hilarity peaks:

    Should the president do that, he -- and the country -- would face virtually no bad outcomes. The worst-case scenario for Obama? In January 2013, he walks away from the White House having been transformative in two w
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    Nov 13, 2010 4:01 PM GMT
    riddler78 said
    jprichva saidYes, Obama should really be taking advice from the right-wing Washington Post. /snort/


    That sort of shows where you stand in the political spectrum if you view the Washington Post as "right wing". As a reminder:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/11/07/AR2008110702895.html


    You're confusing reportage with the editorial position of the newspaper. In their reporting WaPo is pretty middle of the road, but their editorial pages are usually very right-wing, with a few exceptions.
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    Nov 13, 2010 4:02 PM GMT
    Oh and then there's this (a fairly centrist political analyst/pollster):
    http://www.centerforpolitics.org/crystalball/articles/ljs2010111101/

    It’s “Otb” Time: One-Term Barack
    Larry J. Sabato and Alan I. Abramowitz November 11th, 2010

    WARNING: READERS ARE NOW ENTERING “THE IRONY ZONE”
    The wreckage of the Democratic Party is strewn just about everywhere. President Obama’s carefully constructed 2008 Electoral College breakthrough is now just broken, a long-ago memory of what might have been a lasting shift in partisan alignment.

    We have just entered the 2012 presidential election cycle, and the news is grim for the incumbent. While at least one recent poll gives Obama the lead against Sarah Palin, he is trailing in hypothetical match-ups against former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. Even worse, only 38% in another recent poll said they believed Obama “deserves re-election.”

    Take a look at this categorization of states that is based on the best estimate we can make of President Obama’s pre-election job approval level in each state. The Democratic states are those where Obama is still above 50%; the swing states have Obama between 47% and 50%; and the Republican states measure Obama’s job approval below 47%. Keep in mind that the president’s numbers are probably even worse now; they often drop after a devastating defeat such as the one Democrats suffered on November 2.

    Obama may be able to count on the 200 electoral votes in the Democratic states, but if his reelection had been scheduled last week, he might well have lost every swing state—all of which he won in 2008. After all, most Republican candidates for top offices did quite well in every swing state on November 2. If you combine the 158 electoral votes in these swing states with the 180 votes in the solidly Republican states, the GOP nominee would have 338, far more than the 270 needed for election. (The chart’s electoral votes are based on the new expected allocation from the 2010 Census.)

    There’s only one logical conclusion to be drawn: President Barack Obama is down for the count, will have an early lame duck presidency, and will be out of the White House in two years.

    Almost everyone agrees. Here’s a sampling of the domestic and international media opinion that has been pouring in:

    “From the richest to the poorest precincts of Washington, D.C., you can get heavy odds that Barack Obama is going to be a one-term president.” –North America Syndicate columnist.

    “His continued, embarrassing on-the-job training…implies the grim reality of Obama being a one-term president.” –Houston Chronicle
    “I think Obama very likely will be a one-term president unless things change drastically.” –A longtime Democratic U.S. Senator

    “The statistical probability is that Obama will be another one-term president like Carter or Bush [Sr.].” –The Times of London

    “Weak, vacillating, definitely one-term.” –A senior European political analyst
    “The midterm results are a death sentence for Obama.” –La Stampa (Italy)
    “Obama now looks not like a one-term president but a half-term president.” –Sky News (U.K.)

    Some cautious observers will argue that it is too early for such sweeping judgments. The economy might improve substantially, or the Tea Party-influenced Republicans could nominate a weak, out-of-the-mainstream candidate.

    We beg to differ. If President Obama is smart, he will try to salvage his term in the White House by announcing now that he will not undertake a hopeless campaign for reelection, and instead form a bipartisan national unity government to try to hold the nation together until his successor, inevitably a Republican, is selected in November 2012.

    ***************************************************************
    CORRECTION: Due to sloppy research by our interns, the authors would like to clarify a couple of points. It turns out that all news reports cited above were not published in the last ten days, but right after the 1994 Republican midterm landslide. Every time “Barack Obama” appears in print, you should substitute “Bill Clinton”. The acronym “OTB” actually stands for “One-Term Bill” not “One-Term Barack”.

    ***************************************************************
    Nonetheless, we are quite confident in our assertions. President Clinton’s easy reelection to a second term in 1996 should imply nothing about 2012. The pendulum of American politics cannot swing so quickly in just two years, except maybe in 1994-1996.

    Despite his upset victory over heavily favored Hillary Clinton in the ’08 Democratic contest and his easy win over a much more seasoned John McCain in November two years ago, Barack Obama lacks the political skills necessary to adjust to the new realities of divided government. Unlike Bill Clinton, Obama is an inflexible liberal who couldn’t find the center with both hands, even if his career depended on it. And there is no chance at all the new Republican leadership in Congress could over-reach and repeat the errors of Newt Gingrich and his allies. The GOP legislative caucus contains no core of rigid ideologues that might go too far and create an opening for Obama.

    Historically, incumbent presidents who have sought another term have won them by a two-to-one margin. Those aren’t impressive odds. How many of us would bet on a horse with minimal chances like that? Since 1900 only one incumbent president whose party captured the White House from the other party four years earlier (Jimmy Carter) has been beaten. The other incumbent losers—Taft, Hoover, Ford, and the senior Bush—were from a party that had held the White House for two or more consecutive terms. But the key is that Carter and Obama are practically twins; both won the Nobel Peace Prize. Enough said. Moreover, the present moment is unprecedentedly perilous for an incumbent president. There’s really no comparison in the existence of the American Republic, save for about a dozen crises like the Civil War, economic panics, the Great Depression, world wars, and 9/11.

    Democrats may also place false hope in the fact that the next presidential election will have a turnout twenty full percentage points higher than we saw in the midterm—probably about 40 million more people than voted on Nov. 2. No doubt these “midterm-missing” voters are disproportionately 18-34 years old and members of minority groups, segments of the population that backed President Obama by margins ranging from 62% to 95% in 2008. Obama can’t seem to get them to cast a ballot except when he’s on the ballot. Well, yes, he’ll be on the ballot in 2012, but they’re likely disillusioned with him, too.

    Our readers should also give little credence to the following figure, which shows the relationship between the House seat change that has occurred in a midterm election, and the vote for the incumbent White House party’s presidential candidate two years later. True, it turns out that there is no statistical relationship between a midterm result and the outcome of the next presidential election. But surely, people understand the old axiom, “Lies, damn lies, and statistics.”

    Despite the quibbles we’ll undoubtedly hear from predictable partisans, we are certain of our earlier declaration: Barack Obama, henceforth called OTB in our work, is a one-term president. We look forward to the many columns and television commentaries that will echo our conclusion.
  • rnch

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    Nov 13, 2010 4:02 PM GMT
    on the campaign trail, President obama impressed me as a verbose chicago wind bag; concerned with his own self image,how he looked and sounded, a man who no deeply held convictions.

    in the last 2 years he has done little to change my opinion of him.

    he was merely "the lesser of the two evils" on the ballot.

    unless he "gets his shiote together" and stops worrying about poll numbers and makes some politically painful decisions; our country will be back in the hands of the men who brought on the problems we are saddled with today.

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    Nov 13, 2010 4:07 PM GMT
    My personal view - Obama is far too narcissistic to believe he can't win again. He has been entirely tone deaf when it comes to reading the will of Americans. His rise was a question of good timing. And like I've been consistently saying - had I been American even I would have voted for the guy - but at the same time I didn't think he would be the fiscal disaster Obama was/has been.

    I think McCain would have spent less with less overreach but effectively he would have been Bush light and likely would have spent more than Bush (moderation in the US seems to be code these days for spending).
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    Nov 13, 2010 4:08 PM GMT
    Christian73 said
    riddler78 said
    jprichva saidYes, Obama should really be taking advice from the right-wing Washington Post. /snort/


    That sort of shows where you stand in the political spectrum if you view the Washington Post as "right wing". As a reminder:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/11/07/AR2008110702895.html


    You're confusing reportage with the editorial position of the newspaper. In their reporting WaPo is pretty middle of the road, but their editorial pages are usually very right-wing, with a few exceptions.


    Except when they're not, and few believe they are, even their ombudsman but apparently that doesn't matter for you. But again, practically any mainstream view would be considered right wing from your relative position and I suspect you'd even openly admit that.
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    Nov 13, 2010 4:11 PM GMT
    riddler78 saidMy personal view - Obama is far too narcissistic to believe he can't win again. He has been entirely tone deaf when it comes to reading the will of Americans. His rise was a question of good timing. And like I've been consistently saying - had I been American even I would have voted for the guy - but at the same time I didn't think he would be the fiscal disaster Obama was/has been.

    I think McCain would have spent less with less overreach but effectively he would have been Bush light and likely would have spent more than Bush (moderation in the US seems to be code these days for spending).


    There's no reason to believe that Obama can't win reelection. His polling is no worse than Reagan or Clinton at this point in their presidencies. Particularly, when the Republican bench is so weak. Who's going to run against him? Romney? Palin? The only chance the Republicans have to be competitive, let alone defeat him, is for them to find a relative unknown (like Obama) who doesn't have the baggage of the party.
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    Nov 13, 2010 4:14 PM GMT
    riddler78 said
    Christian73 said
    riddler78 said
    jprichva saidYes, Obama should really be taking advice from the right-wing Washington Post. /snort/


    That sort of shows where you stand in the political spectrum if you view the Washington Post as "right wing". As a reminder:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/11/07/AR2008110702895.html


    You're confusing reportage with the editorial position of the newspaper. In their reporting WaPo is pretty middle of the road, but their editorial pages are usually very right-wing, with a few exceptions.


    Except when they're not, and few believe they are, even their ombudsman but apparently that doesn't matter for you. But again, practically any mainstream view would be considered right wing from your relative position and I suspect you'd even openly admit that.


    Well, your perspective is from the extreme right and not in keeping with the American public's views who, among others things, would like healthcare reform to be more aggressive, want to eliminate the tax cuts for the rich, and hate Republicans as much or more than the Democrats. Am I more left wing than most Americans? In some cases. But that does eliminate my objectivity anymore than your worship of Milton Friedman does yours.

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    Nov 13, 2010 4:15 PM GMT
    Christian73 said
    riddler78 saidMy personal view - Obama is far too narcissistic to believe he can't win again. He has been entirely tone deaf when it comes to reading the will of Americans. His rise was a question of good timing. And like I've been consistently saying - had I been American even I would have voted for the guy - but at the same time I didn't think he would be the fiscal disaster Obama was/has been.

    I think McCain would have spent less with less overreach but effectively he would have been Bush light and likely would have spent more than Bush (moderation in the US seems to be code these days for spending).


    There's no reason to believe that Obama can't win reelection. His polling is no worse than Reagan or Clinton at this point in their presidencies. Particularly, when the Republican bench is so weak. Who's going to run against him? Romney? Palin? The only chance the Republicans have to be competitive, let alone defeat him, is for them to find a relative unknown (like Obama) who doesn't have the baggage of the party.


    I agree - I think it's possible for him to win - and two years is a long time. I don't however think that Obama has near the political skills of either a Reagan or Clinton who were very strong communicators. Obama gives good speeches - a specific type of speech.
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    Nov 13, 2010 4:19 PM GMT
    rnch said
    he was merely "the lesser of the two evils" on the ballot.


    riddler78 saidMy personal view - Obama is far too narcissistic to believe he can't win again.


    Palin for 2012!icon_twisted.gif
  • rnch

    Posts: 11524

    Nov 13, 2010 4:21 PM GMT
    Christian73 said
    ...There's no reason to believe that Obama can't win reelection. His polling is no worse than Reagan or Clinton at this point in their presidencies. Particularly, when the Republican bench is so weak. Who's going to run against him? Romney? Palin? The only chance the Republicans have to be competitive, let alone defeat him, is for them to find a relative unknown (like Obama) who doesn't have the baggage of the party.


    agree! there is no "bright and shinning star" on the GOP horizion (that i can spot) to run against President obama.

    Palin may be a temporary "media darling" (GAWD!!!)...but will most voters approve of and vote in this opertunistic blivet to become the most powerful person in the world?

    IF...IF President obama does SOMETHING in the next two years to improve economic conditions then he has a shot of getting re-elected.

    he MUST "shiote or get off the pot" and make some tough choices, though.

    flying around, making speeches and sounding pompus got him elected, but that won't get him re-elected,
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    Nov 13, 2010 5:47 PM GMT
    A "strategist" makes and implements strategic decisions.

    Unless these FOX commentators actually perform that function now, FOX is misrepresenting them. They are not "Democratic strategists" just armchair quarterbacks and there comments carry the same actual weight value as anyone here (ie none). So there is really no more story here than what the crazy lady who yells at traffic thinks about the issue. icon_lol.gif

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    Nov 13, 2010 6:17 PM GMT
    UpperCanadian saidA "strategist" makes and implements strategic decisions.

    Unless these FOX commentators actually perform that function now, FOX is misrepresenting them. They are not "Democratic strategists" just armchair quarterbacks and there comments carry the same actual weight value as anyone here (ie none). So there is really no more story here than what the crazy lady who yells at traffic thinks about the issue. icon_lol.gif



    Sorry, but these guys wrote in the Washington Post. They are commentators for both FOX and MSNBC.

    Links on bios to both:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patrick_Caddell
    http://www.powerofthevote.com/about_doug_schoen.php

    While you may be inclined because of your political views to want to believe they are like the crazy lady who yells at traffic, both are known to be outspoken but prominent Democrats who have wielded considerable influence in the past. Personally, I'm ambivalent as to whether or not they have a point. I do however know that when it comes to politicians having to choose between their own self interests and that of a greater cause like party or country, they usually choose the former irrespective of party (Bush and Pelosi being recent good examples).
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    Nov 13, 2010 6:28 PM GMT
    riddler78 said
    UpperCanadian saidA "strategist" makes and implements strategic decisions.

    Unless these FOX commentators actually perform that function now, FOX is misrepresenting them. They are not "Democratic strategists" just armchair quarterbacks and there comments carry the same actual weight value as anyone here (ie none). So there is really no more story here than what the crazy lady who yells at traffic thinks about the issue. icon_lol.gif



    Sorry, but these guys wrote in the Washington Post. They are commentators for both FOX and MSNBC.

    Links on bios to both:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patrick_Caddell
    http://www.powerofthevote.com/about_doug_schoen.php

    While you may be inclined because of your political views to want to believe they are like the crazy lady who yells at traffic, both are known to be outspoken but prominent Democrats who have wielded considerable influence in the past. Personally, I'm ambivalent as to whether or not they have a point. I do however know that when it comes to politicians having to choose between their own self interests and that of a greater cause like party or country, they usually choose the former irrespective of party (Bush and Pelosi being recent good examples).


    Riddler - You should have worked for Donald Rumsfeld as you are constantly cherry picking information from what you post, when further down the article or webpage, is information that completely contradicts what you claim:

    From Caddell's Wikipedia page:

    "His analysis on polls and campaign issues often puts him at odds with the current leadership of the Democratic Party. He has been criticized for predicting the downfall of the Democratic party. Critics point out that he has defended the Bush administration by claiming that Republicans did not exploit the issue of gay marriage in the presidential election of 2004. He also denounced Democrats in the House who voted against the Palm Sunday Compromise, which sought to reinstate Terri Schiavo's feeding tube, as "cold blooded".>b
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    Nov 13, 2010 6:34 PM GMT
    Christian73 said
    riddler78 said
    UpperCanadian saidA "strategist" makes and implements strategic decisions.

    Unless these FOX commentators actually perform that function now, FOX is misrepresenting them. They are not "Democratic strategists" just armchair quarterbacks and there comments carry the same actual weight value as anyone here (ie none). So there is really no more story here than what the crazy lady who yells at traffic thinks about the issue. icon_lol.gif



    Sorry, but these guys wrote in the Washington Post. They are commentators for both FOX and MSNBC.

    Links on bios to both:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patrick_Caddell
    http://www.powerofthevote.com/about_doug_schoen.php

    While you may be inclined because of your political views to want to believe they are like the crazy lady who yells at traffic, both are known to be outspoken but prominent Democrats who have wielded considerable influence in the past. Personally, I'm ambivalent as to whether or not they have a point. I do however know that when it comes to politicians having to choose between their own self interests and that of a greater cause like party or country, they usually choose the former irrespective of party (Bush and Pelosi being recent good examples).


    Riddler - You should have worked for Donald Rumsfeld as you are constantly cherry picking information from what you post, when further down the article or webpage, is information that completely contradicts what you claim:

    From Caddell's Wikipedia page:

    "His analysis on polls and campaign issues often puts him at odds with the current leadership of the Democratic Party. He has been criticized for predicting the downfall of the Democratic party. Critics point out that he has defended the Bush administration by claiming that Republicans did not exploit the issue of gay marriage in the presidential election of 2004. He also denounced Democrats in the House who voted against the Palm Sunday Compromise, which sought to reinstate Terri Schiavo's feeding tube, as "cold blooded".>b


    I'm not seeing your point here. Are you saying he's not a Democrat and he isn't generally highly regarded within the Democratic Party? Do you agree with everything that the Democrats do? The willingness to disagree is what I think makes a political consultant valuable - otherwise they're entirely unnecessary. Besides, on the issues where others have disagreed with this one of two authors, they have been on two specific social issues but that's not the premise of what he wrote in the Washington Post.

    And with respect to cherry picking, would that be like the ad hominem saying he is a commentator and guest on FOX while omitting the fact he does the same for MSNBC?
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    Nov 13, 2010 7:53 PM GMT
    riddler78 said
    Christian73 said
    riddler78 said
    UpperCanadian saidA "strategist" makes and implements strategic decisions.

    Unless these FOX commentators actually perform that function now, FOX is misrepresenting them. They are not "Democratic strategists" just armchair quarterbacks and there comments carry the same actual weight value as anyone here (ie none). So there is really no more story here than what the crazy lady who yells at traffic thinks about the issue. icon_lol.gif



    Sorry, but these guys wrote in the Washington Post. They are commentators for both FOX and MSNBC.

    Links on bios to both:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patrick_Caddell
    http://www.powerofthevote.com/about_doug_schoen.php

    While you may be inclined because of your political views to want to believe they are like the crazy lady who yells at traffic, both are known to be outspoken but prominent Democrats who have wielded considerable influence in the past. Personally, I'm ambivalent as to whether or not they have a point. I do however know that when it comes to politicians having to choose between their own self interests and that of a greater cause like party or country, they usually choose the former irrespective of party (Bush and Pelosi being recent good examples).


    Riddler - You should have worked for Donald Rumsfeld as you are constantly cherry picking information from what you post, when further down the article or webpage, is information that completely contradicts what you claim:

    From Caddell's Wikipedia page:

    "His analysis on polls and campaign issues often puts him at odds with the current leadership of the Democratic Party. He has been criticized for predicting the downfall of the Democratic party. Critics point out that he has defended the Bush administration by claiming that Republicans did not exploit the issue of gay marriage in the presidential election of 2004. He also denounced Democrats in the House who voted against the Palm Sunday Compromise, which sought to reinstate Terri Schiavo's feeding tube, as "cold blooded".>b


    I'm not seeing your point here. Are you saying he's not a Democrat and he isn't generally highly regarded within the Democratic Party? Do you agree with everything that the Democrats do? The willingness to disagree is what I think makes a political consultant valuable - otherwise they're entirely unnecessary. Besides, on the issues where others have disagreed with this one of two authors, they have been on two specific social issues but that's not the premise of what he wrote in the Washington Post.

    And with respect to cherry picking, would that be like the ad hominem saying he is a commentator and guest on FOX while omitting the fact he does the same for MSNBC?


    Well, it seems he's not worked for a Democrat since Jimmy Carter. No. I don't agree with the Democrats on everything they do. The two disagreements that you toss aside as "social issues" are extremely conservative positions that were used to hammer Democrats in the polls and at the ballot box with complete disregard for Terri Schiavo or gay people.

    The only premise to this article is two hucksters trying to further demoralize the Democratic base.

    And I watch quite a bit of MSNBC and I've never seen him on there, so maybe he's on during the day while I'm at work but it seems unlikely.
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    Nov 13, 2010 8:11 PM GMT
    Christian73 saidThe only premise to this article is two hucksters trying to further demoralize the Democratic base.


    That might be the case if it weren't for the fact that Obama's policies are the reasons the Democrats lost. Of course you could take the delusional / arrogant view that it was something about the message and that the electorate/voters were stupid lulled by Republican lies (versus the Democrats who are of course pure as driven snow) blaming "money".

    I don't really know or care though what their motivations are. I note you didn't reference much about the second author, I'd be inclined to believe them on their motives. It takes a true partisan to believe that Obama has done nothing wrong to merit this rebuke by voters. Let me note further that I, and probably much of the US electorate/republican party/tea partiers, do not see the midterms as a victory for the Republicans but rather, a reaction to policies they deem over reaching/undesirable. The Republicans did not win. They are on probation - and the electorate gave them the greatest wave of wins especially in state houses in decades.

    I anticipate the message by the authors to be ignored. If the base is comprised of extremists like yourself as the US reaffirms its relative conservative base, it will further lose power in 2012 - and frankly, I don't think that's a good thing for all pillars of government to be dominated by any side, nor do I believe that the Republicans can be trusted to shrink government as they have promised.
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    Nov 13, 2010 8:20 PM GMT
    riddler78 said
    Christian73 saidThe only premise to this article is two hucksters trying to further demoralize the Democratic base.


    That might be the case if it weren't for the fact that Obama's policies are the reasons the Democrats lost. Of course you could take the delusional / arrogant view that it was something about the message and that the electorate/voters were stupid lulled by Republican lies (versus the Democrats who are of course pure as driven snow) blaming "money".

    I don't really know or care though what their motivations are. I note you didn't reference much about the second author, I'd be inclined to believe them on their motives. It takes a true partisan to believe that Obama has done nothing wrong to merit this rebuke by voters. Let me note further that I, and probably much of the US electorate/republican party/tea partiers, do not see the midterms as a victory for the Republicans but rather, a reaction to policies they deem over reaching/undesirable. The Republicans did not win. They are on probation - and the electorate gave them the greatest wave of wins especially in state houses in decades.

    I anticipate the message by the authors to be ignored. If the base is comprised of extremists like yourself as the US reaffirms its relative conservative base, it will further lose power in 2012 - and frankly, I don't think that's a good thing for all pillars of government to be dominated by any side, nor do I believe that the Republicans can be trusted to shrink government as they have promised.

    I think your assessment is on the money. The only thing I would add is if the Democrats stay the course they are on, unless the Republicans do something stupid or just don't perform, the Democrats will be annihilated in 2012. It may take that to repudiate the ultra-progressive wing, leaving the Democratic party to go back to a more moderate and stronger position. Ultimately the two party system will prevail, as is best for the country.
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    Nov 13, 2010 8:30 PM GMT
    so these guys are not now actually working for the Democrats.

    maybe you missed that REALLY IMPORTANT word in my statement so I will repeat it now.




    if they are not NOW working as strategists for the Democrats, they are being misrepresented. I have seen only seen them in FOX stopries, so I described them as such. My not knowing they also commemt for MSNBC DOES NOT INVALIDATE OR ANSWER THE QUESTION.

    Notice how you guys on the right wing always have to seize on a trivial distraction to avoid the point being made.

    I would have so much more respect for your side if you were able to discuss things honesty and maturely.

    That is why I am so consistently unable to support the positions of the right wing - when i ask to explain their REASONING they answer with slogans.

    (There is a great example of this in the thread where SB and I are discussing who "owns" your wealth.

    It could be very illumjinating - if he were to explain reasoning instead of deflecting the question.



    If you cannot answer a question forthrightly - how can you be trusted to govern?

    That is why the electorate is so cynical. and distrustful of the Republicans.

    We ask questions and our politicians refuse to answer.

    Just ANSWER THE FUCKING QUESTION!!!



    And when you do, answer it fully - not selectively.

    We are seeking to understand - and you are seeking to conceal.
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    Nov 13, 2010 8:46 PM GMT
    UpperCanadian saidif they are not NOW working as strategists for the Democrats, they are being misrepresented. I have seen only seen them in FOX stopries, so I described them as such. My not knowing they also commemt for MSNBC DOES NOT INVALIDATE OR ANSWER THE QUESTION. [...]

    If you cannot answer a question forthrightly - how can you be trusted to govern?


    Have you gone off your rocker? Who represented them as anything other than Democrats? Their byline is quite clear if you bothered to actually read it. Breathe, it might provide more oxygen to the brain. You seem to rely on a pure ad hominem attack - at least Christian has bothered to look for counterpoints - which as noted above, I can understand and respect. Was the op-ed politically motivated? Of course. What are their motives? Does it matter if their arguments have validity?

    Again, I can see why you choose to dismiss them (though your hyperventilating suggests that there is more to this), but that doesn't reduce them to the crazy lady yelling at cars as you seem to want to do.
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    Nov 13, 2010 9:02 PM GMT
    riddler78 said
    UpperCanadian saidif they are not NOW working as strategists for the Democrats, they are being misrepresented. I have seen only seen them in FOX stopries, so I described them as such. My not knowing they also commemt for MSNBC DOES NOT INVALIDATE OR ANSWER THE QUESTION. [...]

    If you cannot answer a question forthrightly - how can you be trusted to govern?


    Have you gone off your rocker? Who represented them as anything other than Democrats? Their byline is quite clear if you bothered to actually read it. Breathe, it might provide more oxygen to the brain. You seem to rely on a pure ad hominem attack - at least Christian has bothered to look for counterpoints - which as noted above, I can understand and respect. Was the op-ed politically motivated? Of course. What are their motives? Does it matter if their arguments have validity?

    Again, I can see why you choose to dismiss them (though your hyperventilating suggests that there is more to this), but that doesn't reduce them to the crazy lady yelling at cars as you seem to want to do.


    Riddler, they are introduced on FOX as "democratic strategists." this whole thread is about that.

    I am arguing they are NOT democratic strategists and it is dishonest to describe them as such (presumably to suggest great divisions inside the Party -- "see Democrats close to the administration think he should be a one-termer too!"

    Well that would be a fine story indeed if they WERE Democratic strategists but in fact they are yesterday's men not connected to the current administration at all and probably not as "in the loop" as FOX is hoping to impress upon us.

    Since you also say "does it matter if their arguments have validity" I take it you agree then with my assertion that the opinions of these two matter no more than the lady shouting at traffic and it is disingenuous (dishonest) to present them as "experts"

    You argued your way right around into repeating MY initial argument as if it were your own.


    You're welcome.

    icon_biggrin.gif

    What makes you think I am hyperventilating by the way?

    You seemed to be missing important words. I have a vision impairment so I thought you moght too, amd started trying to make it easier to read critical swords. It only now occurs to me that you were willfully ignoring them to misinterpret posts.

    So t he CAPS are just to highlight certain bits of text since you seem prone to miss important words or phrases unless they are bold or highlighted somehow and you miss the point.

    Ignoring the word "now" in my initial post completely changed the intent, dso i was merely trying to make it clearly visible for clarity's sake.