For Obama & Co., this time around it’s all about fear.

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    May 30, 2012 12:05 AM GMT
    I'd say that this is going to be a long rough campaign but they all are/were.

    http://nymag.com/news/features/barack-obama-2012-6/

    David Plouffe sits in his White House office, just a few steps from the Oval, staring at an oversize map of these United States. It’s late afternoon on May 9, two hours after Barack Obama’s declaration that his evolution on gay marriage has reached its terminus. The president is down the hall and on the phone, discussing his decision’s theological implications with several prominent African-American pastors—while Plouffe is being queried about its political dimensions by a querulous Caucasian reporter. The map at which Plouffe is gazing isn’t the electoral kind with the states shaded blue and red; as a federal employee, he notes wryly, “I’m not permitted to have one on the wall.” But given the way his head is hardwired, I’m pretty sure Plouffe is seeing those colors regardless.

    The question of whether Obama’s new stance narrows or widens his path to victory in November is one that Plouffe and his comrades have been agonizing over since early this year, when their boss returned from vacation and told them he wanted to take the plunge. The possible political benefits are clear: jazzing up young voters, ginning up gay dollars. As are the costs: turning off socially conservative Democrats and independents, particularly in four pivotal swing states—Iowa, Ohio, North Carolina, and Virginia. But as to the net effect of the announcement on Obama’s ability to accumulate 270 electoral votes, his adjutants are unable to render a firm verdict. “I think there is more upside potential than downside potential,” Plouffe says. “But is there a scenario where it’s harder? Yes.”

    Such scenarios don’t rest easily with Plouffe, the nothing-to-chance operative who rose to prominence as Obama’s 2008 campaign manager. Since returning to the fold after a two-year hiatus in January 2011, Plouffe has seen his boss’s approval ratings rise (to a high of 53 percent, according to Gallup, after Osama bin Laden’s killing) and fall (to a low of 38 percent after last summer’s debt-ceiling debacle and the downgrade of America’s credit rating) and rise again. But all along, his message to his colleagues has been the same: 2012 was destined to be a corset-tight election.

    The contours of that contest are now plain to see—indeed, they have been for some time. Back in November, Ruy Teixeira and John Halpin, two fellows at the Center for American Progress, identified the prevailing dynamics: The presidential race would boil down to “demographics versus economics.” That the latter favor Mitt Romney is incontestable. From high unemployment and stagnant incomes to tepid GDP growth and a still-pervasive sense of anxiety bordering on pessimism in the body politic, every salient variable undermines the prospects of the incumbent. The subject line of an e-mail from the Romney press shop that hit my in-box last week summed up the challenger’s framing of the election concisely and precisely: “What’s This Campaign Going to Be About? The Obama Economy.”
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    May 30, 2012 1:10 AM GMT
    Heard similar, that analysts on both sides think the election will be close. But there is one RJ member who maintains with certainty that Obama will win at least 300 electoral votes without a doubt. What do you think? Is this guy much smarter than the rest or does he know something that none of the analysis know? What could it be?
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    May 30, 2012 1:14 AM GMT
    Hmmm. One of the authors of "Game Change", which conservatives roundly panned as being completely unfair to the McCain/Palin campaign, but which made this author boatloads of money based on its National Enquirer style of anonymous sourcing is predicting that the Obama campaign will run on fear?

    Shocking.

    I'm sure he also will detail all the infighting and such that will provide the grist for his next book. icon_cool.gif