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Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Politics ...

Quick political note here — on why Obama may be in for an uphill battle in his bid to get re-elected. I was listening tonight to the Voice of Russia in America radio station during my drive home from work, and a young fellow named Sam Arrero was talking. Mr. Arrero is a VofRA “capitol correspondent” based in Washington DC, and was discussing with another VofRA announcer the kick-off of Obama’s election campaign. Mr. Arrero noted that he had been a very active volunteer for the Obama campaign in 2008, and said that he “might volunteer again” in 2012.

Might. A hint of ambivalence about Obama on the part of America’s educated youth. Not a good sign for the President, who depended so heavily on youth enthusiasm in 2008.

Also, there’s an interesting cover story in New York Mag about the Occupy movement [originally ‘Occupy Wall Street’, now morphing into ‘Occupy The World’] and what it could mean for Obama in 2012. The title of the article is ‘2012=1968?’. And that is a very good question. In the 1968 election, Richard Nixon and the GOP turned the opinions of the core independent voters who ultimately select our Presidents away from Hubert Humphrey and the Democrats, by equating the Dems with the many youth protests that were happening on the campuses (and so famously at the Democratic convention in Chicago) at the time.

If the GOP can pin the less savory aspects of the Occupy movement (a bit of violence, much inconvenience, disheveled appearances) on Obama and his like, then the ‘solid middle’ voters might turn against him (don’t forget that Barack is a former community organizer, and OWS is definitely some sort of organized community). That would not bode well for the Dems on election night in key states like Ohio, Florida, Wisconsin and even Pennsylvania. If I were an Obama strategist I would already write off Indiana, North Carolina, Virginia, and if early polls mean anything, New Hampshire.

Sure, it’s still way too early to tell. Perhaps ‘Occupy Everyplace’ will help to turn out enough young voters to tip the balance once more for the Democrats. But the winds which blew so favorably for Barack Obama starting about this time in 2007 seem to have shifted into his face. I’d like to see Obama re-elected, I believe he could finally get the hang of being President during his second term. But I wouldn’t even bet 50 cents with 10 to 1 odds right now. All bets are off. The youth activism that Barack Obama inspired back in 2008 has mutated into the Occupy movement, and that could cut either way for the Democrats.

◊   posted by Jim G @ 11:03 pm      

  1. Jim, I am sorry, but I just cannot agree with you about this blog today. First of all, I think that one person is not a representative sample of any group at all, much less the number of young people who might support Obama. This person could have all sorts of personal reasons why he MIGHT or might NOT volunteer for work in any group, to say nothing of volunteering for Obama.

    I think you yourself stated it succinctly: “Sure, it’s still way too early to tell.” I tend to think that you are getting way ahead of yourself in naming possible states who might or might not vote for Obama.

    I’d say the very first thing that has to be done is for the GOP to decide who will be it’s nominee. So far, they are NOT having good luck on that ground.

    (And if I may say tangentially, now it seems there are 2 women to whom Herbert Cain seems to have said: “put out for a job” (to put it bluntly). The first woman described quite graphically his obvious sex-for-a-job approach if she wanted a job. Now comes a woman who says she had an affair with him for 13 years. Two things about that: a) For him to first say he didn’t know her and then say his relationship with her was “casual” might have been accurate as far as he was concerned; but 13 years seems to be forcing the use of the word “casual” and an insult to the woman; 13 years simply cannot be written off as a one-time indescretion. b) Cain described himself as trying to help her because she was destitute and needed a job (or words that meant that). Well, he’s admitting then that he exchanged a job for sex with that woman, as the evidence the woman presents for their 13 year affair is hard to disavow.

    I’d say the GOP has some serious problems in who will be their nominee. If things keep going like they have been so far, Obama may have no one to face–except for the fact that Romney, being a Mormon, is likely squeaky clean in the sex-for-favors department.

    At this point I’m not “worried” about youth for Obama. I’m still waiting for the GOP to find someone who may actually be their nominee. MCS

    Comment by Mary S. — November 30, 2011 @ 2:26 pm

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