It’s premature to be predicting the winner of the 2012 Presidential race. But I’m going to make one: President Obama will be re-elected. (Feel free to print out this post, bury it in a time capsule and dig it up in two years).
Before you become dismissive, don’t forget that I predicted that Prop. 23 would lose by a landslide a long time ago (and it did). I always underestimate the nastiness, though.
I also thought Jerry Brown would win and tea party extremists such as Sharron Angle and Christine O’Donnell would lose. I’m going to collect on those bets soon. After many years, you learn to “read” people (though outright lying makes the task tougher) and being pragmatic helps.
Here’s why Obama is in the driver’s seat: This week he passed the litmus test to show he can compromise. Yup, most of us are centrists, not extremists.
Many of Obama’s detractors think he’s too idealistic to be like Bill Clinton, who moved to the center and got re-elected.
But President Obama is showing his political mettle. Many people on the right (and our nation’s biggest problem, the hard right) just want to see him fail.
I continue to think some people don’t like him because of the color of his skin — very sad, since it is almost 55 years to the day that Rosa Parks refused to sit down at the back of a bus, helping to spark a needed civil rights movement. Racism remains a big problem in our nation, as I reminded my son the other day.
On the left, Democrats increasingly are angry that Obama hasn’t fought harder to block $700 billion in tax credits to millionaires while the GOP is holding millions of unemployed people hostage by declining to extend their unemployment benefits during the holidays.
Now, however, it looks like Obama is going to disappoint both ends of the political spectrum. He’s likely going support a deal to extend the tax breaks for all. After all, we’re experiencing the worst economic slump in decades.
Many Democrats make a cogent point about holding the line on tax breaks to the wealthy in a recession, and I think a well-orchestrated campaign would resonate with the American public — if it isn’t already — and ding the emboldened tea party Congress.
On the other hand, showing a willingness to compromise is an important characteristic with such a polarized electorate.
The GOP thinks they are running the show after November’s election results, but they don’t even have a leader for 2012. The Democrats will rally behind Obama when push comes to shove. Who else will they support?
So in the end, Obama is proving to be like Clinton — except, and I appreciate this, he doesn’t get entwined in embarrassing sex scandals.