Why Obama Is Swimming Against The Current Ever More Desperately In Trying To Get Reelected

by John Hawkins | July 17, 2012 6:38 am

Ideally, a President likes for his policies to be popular and effective. Failing that, policies that are popular, but ineffective give him an opportunity to be reelected. Even policies that are effective, but unpopular can ultimately work out because they give the politician some successes to point towards. Of course, an unpopular policy that works also has the potential to become popular.

Unfortunately for Barack Obama, most of his policies have turned out to be unpopular AND ineffective. Additionally, Obama hasn’t given anyone other than his unenthusiastic base, which is not big enough to elect him without help from the middle, a reason to want him around for another four years. What is Obama promising if he’s reelected? Higher taxes? More debt? Open borders? Locking Obamacare, which the American people don’t want, into place? What’s the hook supposed to be?

There is none.

You merely have a poorly performing President who isn’t promising anything better, trying to win a second term.

How does he do that?

He really only has one option open to him. He has to convince the American people that Mitt Romney is unfit to hold office. That’s what Lyndon Johnson did with Goldwater. He convinced the American people Goldwater was an extremist who was so irresponsible that he might start a nuclear war.

This is actually a very steep mountain to climb in Romney’s case. He was a right-of-center governor of a liberal state. It’s well known that a lot of conservatives are concerned that he isn’t conservative enough. You can’t successfully paint him as an extremist. Moreover, Obama can try to drum up envy and resentment against Romney’s wealth and business career, but he’s not going to be able to dispute that Romney was an extremely successful businessman.

Meanwhile, the more mud Obama slings at Romney, the more he damages his greatest asset, his likability. People may laugh at that now, but in 2008, before Obama became stale and overexposed, he ran a positive campaign, came across as moderate, and spent most of his time talking about unity, change, and hope. People WANTED to like Obama — and they did. The nastier he gets, the less likable he becomes.

Last but not least, Romney and Obama are neck-in-neck now, but the longer the tie lasts, the more likely Mitt is to win. The undecided voters out there are already familiar with Obama, are looking for an alternative, and are unlikely to find Mitt to be unfit to be President. That means you can expect the remaining undecided voters at the end to break heavily for Mitt Romney. If Obama doesn’t start winning them over now, it seems very unlikely that he’s going to seal the deal in October.

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