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Bad moon rising

Friday, Oct 14, 2011

* My Sun-Times column

History doesn’t necessarily repeat itself.

Lots of Illinois Democrats believed after the 2010 national Republican landslide that the worst had passed. They harkened back to 1996, when President Bill Clinton rallied from humiliating midterm losses and decisively won re-election. The Illinois House had been taken over by the Republicans in 1994, but the Democrats wrenched it from their control two years later. The Senate Democrats just barely missed winning a majority in their chamber that same year.

The Democrats also were comforted after last year’s election because they knew they would be redrawing the new district maps this year. Last year’s Republican surge gave them a road map for how to avoid 2012 trouble. They could shore up their weaknesses and create new opportunities in General Assembly and congressional districts.

But the economy has worsened and, unlike Clinton did during the government shutdown, President Barack Obama hasn’t yet managed to turn the tables on the Republicans.

Obama’s job approval rating in his home state is below 50 percent, according to a recent poll. And Obama’s approval rating is way lower than that outside of Chicago and Cook County. Nothing has worked. His policies have fallen short and his recent move to the left, demanded by the rank and file, has not stemmed his slide in the polls.

The whole environment is just cruddy for the Democrats. On top of the national problems, there was that big state income tax increase back in January, which has stuck in everybody’s craw. It’s almost constantly in the news because of a steady parade of corporate CEOs threatening to leave Illinois. The last tax increase disappeared from the zeitgeist pretty quickly because it had bipartisan support. The Republicans refused to lend a hand this time around, and the Democrats are getting all the blame.

Gov. Pat Quinn’s job approval ratings have never been all that high, but they slipped below 30 percent in the most recent poll. His unsteady leadership isn’t helping matters much. And the General Assembly isn’t doing itself a whole lot of favors by failing to reverse the madness.

As a consequence, the Democrats could easily be looking at a bloodbath next year, particularly Downstate. The House Democrats caught a break in 2010 when the Republicans wasted most of their energy in suburban Cook County. The Republicans could’ve picked up a lot more seats if they had fielded decent Downstate candidates and spent more cash in the region. They’re not making the same mistake this time around.

Top legislative Democrats are saying this has been the worst candidate recruitment year they’ve seen. They had been counting on a backlash against the Republicans (a la 1995-96) to help recruit good candidates, but instead they’re encountering malaise, indifference, fear and even hostility.

The situation may be worse than they realize. My father went door-to-door for Obama in his U.S. Senate race. Obama used to call him “Brother Miller.”

Dad loved him.

When Obama decided to run for president, Dad attached giant, custom-made “Obama ’08” stickers to both sides of his vintage 1963 Cadillac convertible. He christened it the “Obamallac” and drove all over Iowa to advertise his guy before the 2008 caucuses.

I called Dad on Tuesday night and he told me he was watching the Republican presidential debate. I asked him why and he said he’s so bitterly disappointed in Obama that he is looking around for someone else to support.

If Obama has lost the Obamallac owner, he’s in gigantic trouble, and so is the rest of the Democratic Party.

* The Obamallac..

Discuss.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


69 Comments
  1. - Esquire - Friday, Oct 14, 11 @ 10:21 am:

    Very valid observations. Obama could drag down some candidates for lesser offices on the same ballot. More than twelve months to go, but things do not look to bright as of now.


  2. - Anonymous - Friday, Oct 14, 11 @ 10:23 am:

    A year can be a lifetime in politics.

    In 1983, Reagan was on the ropes in the midst of a bad recession and a slew of Democrats wanted to take a shot at him. A year later, the economy was booming and he won 49 states.

    In 1991, Bush’s approval rating was in the 90s and alleged Dem heavyweights like Cuomo took a pass, leaving the field to the Seven Dwarves. Clinton won.

    That’s not to say such a dramatic turnaround will occur, only that it can.

    The economy is the biggie, of course, but a lot will depend on who comes out of the GOP presidential primary. Assuming the field is set, my guess is it will be Romney and he would be formidable. The others, I’m not so sure, even in a bad economy.


  3. - wordslinger - Friday, Oct 14, 11 @ 10:27 am:

    Above anon was me.


  4. - 47th Ward - Friday, Oct 14, 11 @ 10:41 am:

    We’re in a particularly ugly historical period in American politics, and I think it will get worse before it gets better. I also think it will affect both parties to some degree. But in Illinois, simply because the Democrats are in the majority, it will probably hurt us more here. And nationally, Obama owns the economy, which is a huge anchor around his neck.

    I’m sorry to hear your dad is losing faith, but I’m not surprised. Obama has disappointed a lot of his supporters. I’m one who will stand with him through thick and thin, but there are times when it’s tough to do.

    Maybe once the Republicans nominate someone, your dad and others might come around. I think Obama will look much better once there is a candidate to compare him with. We’ll see.


  5. - Seriously??? - Friday, Oct 14, 11 @ 10:52 am:

    I agree with 47th. Once there is an actual Republican candidate to compare with Obama, he will look better. Economic and social policy positions alone will make me run for the hills from any of the possible Rs.


  6. - Ghost of John Brown - Friday, Oct 14, 11 @ 10:53 am:

    Whether it is justified or not, I think most voters looked at the big tax increase last year and said, “OK, now they have everything they need, so they should be OK now”. (I wasn’t OK with it, but that is another story). I know there were plenty of stories from the Democrats that this wasn’t all they needed, but I get the feeling that most voters felt that way.

    Ever since the tax increase passed, there has been a steady drip of news with topics of; we still can’t pay our bills, we still need more, we have to cut this program or that program.

    The message that delivers to the electorate, again fair or unfair, is that the Democrats will never be satisfied with increased taxes, no matter how much they get. Add that to the fine points you made above, Rich, of CEO’s leaving the state, and it’s a toxic mix.

    The ‘message’ that delivers to the voters is a state run by the clueless. If the Democrats can’t get past that, then yes indeed, they do have significant troubles.


  7. - Original Rambler - Friday, Oct 14, 11 @ 11:01 am:

    I’m curious if there is a specific action that BO took (or failed to take) that caused your father to back off or more of a general malaise with BO’s administration so far.


  8. - Stones - Friday, Oct 14, 11 @ 11:02 am:

    Obama has his problems for sure but the R’s have yet to get behind a candidate. Romney would be formidable but the rest of them will have big problems against Obama.


  9. - walkinfool - Friday, Oct 14, 11 @ 11:03 am:

    As long as the national GOP holds the line, and rejects all help for the economy in the near term, game over for the Dems.
    Of course there’s always the Illinois GOP strategy for losing, which is to nominate the worst available candidate.


  10. - NW - Friday, Oct 14, 11 @ 11:09 am:

    I think James Carville was right: President Obama needs to shake up his staff asap.


  11. - Confused - Friday, Oct 14, 11 @ 11:10 am:

    I read your article Rich and mostly agreed. Personally, though, I think it should have been entitled “Morning in America” instead…


  12. - Genration X - Friday, Oct 14, 11 @ 11:12 am:

    I certainly disagree with some of the above comments. In my estimation a Romney nomination ensures a second term for Obama. The independents who have left Obama will be more than made up for by the Conservatives who stay at home rather than support Romney.


  13. - big red - Friday, Oct 14, 11 @ 11:19 am:

    you dad and many other were sold the “change ” message, without any real chance that any of it would occur. Just wishful thinking.( ie close gitmo, try them in new york, health care, etc)


  14. - soccermom - Friday, Oct 14, 11 @ 11:20 am:

    this makes me so sad. Seeing the Obamallac driving down Michigan Avenue the evening of the election was such a great moment on a great night.


  15. - Bill F. - Friday, Oct 14, 11 @ 11:22 am:

    I agree with a lot of what has been said, but I want to address GenX’s point about Romney. There’s an old adage that has been repeated here, I’m sure: Democrats fall in love, Republicans fall in line.

    Now, the absolute disgust with politics that has materialized of late may change that math, I think Republicans’ visceral, personal hatred for Obama will bring them out - even for Multiple Choice Mitt (to say nothing of GOP efforts to game the vote with ID laws and splitting their states’ electoral votes - they’re going all out for the win).

    As always, it will be the middle third and whom they deem “the lesser evil” in the end.


  16. - Cincinnatus - Friday, Oct 14, 11 @ 11:29 am:

    What Bill F. said. Conservatives will not stay home this election because their hate of Obama far exceeds their hate of Romney. It will be the Independents that make or break the presidential candidate, and right now, Romney appeals to them more than does Obama.


  17. - Glass is half full - Friday, Oct 14, 11 @ 11:29 am:

    George Bush I had a mid 90 approval rating during the shock and awe desrt storm in 1991……a year later he got whooped by an unknown Arkansas Governor….of course it was about the economy dummy…..which probably doesn’t translate to victory next year for our President


  18. - WhoKnew - Friday, Oct 14, 11 @ 11:32 am:

    Just a thought — Shouldn’t that Cadillac be headed LEFT!


  19. - Anonymous - Friday, Oct 14, 11 @ 11:35 am:

    –Conservatives will not stay home this election because their hate of Obama far exceeds their hate of Romney.–

    LOL, it’s good to hear these optimistic humanitarians will stay in the game to build a brighter future!


  20. - Genration X - Friday, Oct 14, 11 @ 11:35 am:

    I think you underestimate the dislike for Romney out there. He has basically been running for president for 7 years and cannot break 30% approval in his own party. There are certainly a section that will vote for a tomato can over Obama, but there are also a large section who don’t see any difference between Obama and Romney. I still believe Romney would need Dem crossovers to win, which I can’t see happening


  21. - GoldCoastConservative - Friday, Oct 14, 11 @ 11:36 am:

    @WhoKnew …not in the context of Rich’s post.


  22. - 47th Ward - Friday, Oct 14, 11 @ 11:49 am:

    The irony for the Republicans and Romney is this: if Romney is the nominee, it means the Tea Party has not made any difference in changing the party. Romney is the personification of a RINO. He is the establishment the Tea Party vowed to up-end.

    There is a reason a candidate like Herman Cain, who has no chance of being the nominee, is surging in the polls. Perry stole the momentum from Bachmann, then lost it to Cain. The Tea Party voters are still looking for a champion. Romney is the anti-Tea Party candidate, and if he wins, it means the Tea Party loses.

    It’s kind of fun to witness actually. Romney’s support over the past few months has been constant, while every other candidate it seems has been up then down (excepting Huntsman and Santorum, who’ve never been up). I think the GOP race is still wide open, and the more the establishment coalesces around Romney, the more frustrated the Tea Party becomes.

    I wouldn’t rule out a 3rd Party challenge just yet.


  23. - Anonymous - Friday, Oct 14, 11 @ 11:51 am:

    =If Obama has lost the Obamallac owner, he’s in gigantic trouble,…=

    You’re absolutely right, Rich. A great loss to Obama.

    Having said that, however, I don’t think the situation is as bad as it seems to Democrats because the same thing is happening on the Republic side as well. Quite a few people in office, who are seeking office, and “pull the strings” to get people into office have lost quite a few of their biggest supporters because of the underhanded approach they’ve taken to “up” themselves, to gain notoriety, and by pandering to various groups resulting in division when unity is required.

    Honor and tradition are a big thing in the Republican party, and we’ve lost it big time during the last couple of years by not taking a stand to maintain honor and tradition, but by responding as we have to unworthy and often non-existent opponents. In other words, we can no longer identify our enemies and when we do, we respond to the by grovelling.

    Therefore, IMHO, the playing field has leveled itself once again, which is a good thing.


  24. - GMatts - Friday, Oct 14, 11 @ 11:55 am:

    Your pops represents millions of like minded people who thought Hope and Change was not just a cheap slogan, which as it turns out, is just that.
    Obama reached his talent pinnacle as State Rep.


  25. - Anonymous - Friday, Oct 14, 11 @ 11:58 am:

    You can say the same thing about “Honor and Tradition” on the Republican side, which has also turned into a cheap slogan.


  26. - vole - Friday, Oct 14, 11 @ 11:59 am:

    Realistically, many of us who supported Obama never got in the freaking hope parade to begin with. We saw him as a centrist technocrat who would be inundated with trying to keep the junker up on blocks let alone keeping any wheels on. Somebody needs to photoshop the Obamalac sitting up on blocks with a bunch of nitwit GOP prez candidates looking under the hood and saying stupid stuff like regulation killed it or a big tax cut will revive it.


  27. - Responsa - Friday, Oct 14, 11 @ 12:21 pm:

    I suppose some people do “hate” Obama just as some people “hated” Bush. But the Obama voters he had in 2008 who now say they can not and will not vote for him again are not people who hate him. These are disappointed and shell shocked people who see that most of the old “stereotypes” of tax and spend liberals and cronyism to the sacred causes have been writ large by his administration to the detriment of the nation and and worse, in direct contradiction of the bright new governance he had promised us all. Many people who voted for him now feel stupid that they actually believed him. They are unlikely to change their minds about this perceived betrayal.

    Obama would not have been elected without the votes of millions of independents AND republicans who were fed up with the status quo. From the very moment the ill-conceived stimulus bill was passed Obama showed he was just another run of the mill politician– rewarding and lining the pockets of his big contributors-not the brave architect of hope and change.


  28. - Hattie - Friday, Oct 14, 11 @ 12:26 pm:

    Talk as usual is cheap! Let’s see when they start counting votes. Obama will be reelected.


  29. - Quinn T. Sential - Friday, Oct 14, 11 @ 12:26 pm:

    {Just a thought — Shouldn’t that Cadillac be headed LEFT!}

    It ran out of gas.


  30. - jerry 101 - Friday, Oct 14, 11 @ 12:27 pm:

    Obama’s toast.

    I won’t vote for him. I won’t vote for a Republican.


  31. - Anonymous - Friday, Oct 14, 11 @ 12:27 pm:

    –Romney is the personification of a RINO. He is the establishment the Tea Party vowed to up-end.–

    I wouldn’t say that. I think he’s just a moderate Republican, which is a dirty phrase in some circles.

    It’s the Tea Partiers who say they’re not aligned with the Republicans. But they sure are causing a ruckus in the tent.

    Let’s face it, among the Tea Partiers or some of today’s so-called conservatives, Ronald Reagan wouldn’t pass the purity test. Amnesty for illegal immigrants, tax increases, closing tax-dodge loopholes in the Tax Reform Act of 1986, largest peace-time budget deficits, making arms deals with the Soviets.

    He’d be just another New Deal Democrat. Which he always was.


  32. - dupage dan - Friday, Oct 14, 11 @ 12:29 pm:

    The teapartiers, if they’re smart, will back Romney knowing he isn’t a hard liner. We can already see how they move with the legislative process - they don’t have to have all the leadership positions to flex their muscles and move their agenda forward. May be easier to do so with both houses and the White House in GOP hands. Besides, they smell victory.


  33. - Bill F. - Friday, Oct 14, 11 @ 12:30 pm:

    “right now, Romney appeals to them more than does Obama.”

    There aren’t numbers that bear that out.

    I will give GenX this point, Romney has NEVER broken 30 in a GOP poll in 7 years of running for president.


  34. - dupage dan - Friday, Oct 14, 11 @ 12:31 pm:

    Who would you vote for then, jerry 101? Ron Paul? A vote for someone who can’t win is a vote for the incumbent. Or haven’t you got to that part of the Politics 101 survey course textbook?


  35. - Anonymous - Friday, Oct 14, 11 @ 12:38 pm:

    =Obama showed he was just another run of the mill politician– rewarding and lining the pockets of his big contributors-not the brave architect of hope and change.=

    Another parallel.


  36. - Anonymous - Friday, Oct 14, 11 @ 12:40 pm:

    Though I’m sure Responsa can’t see it or believes it’s not applicable.


  37. - Anonymous - Friday, Oct 14, 11 @ 12:47 pm:

    Romney is not a Moderate, Anon 12:27. And the Tea Party is not solely comprised of Republicans–Conservative or Moderate. That’s the problem I cited with the Tea Party long ago when it first started gaining traction. Unfortunately, as evidenced by your and many other posts, Conservatives are taking the hit for it when it suits the “other side”.


  38. - Responsa - Friday, Oct 14, 11 @ 12:49 pm:

    What Responsa “sees” is that most people in 2008 wanted a change from the run of the mill pols endemic in both parties. Dems, Repubs, and independents ALL wanted something different from the usual. Obama promised it. People thought he “got” it and was one with them. Obama did not deliver.


  39. - Anonymous - Friday, Oct 14, 11 @ 12:53 pm:

    N/A, Responsa.


  40. - wordslinger - Friday, Oct 14, 11 @ 1:00 pm:

    –Romney is not a Moderate, Anon 12:27.–

    That was me.

    Then what is he a radical lefty or a full-moon righty?

    And to your other point, what’s the ratio of Tea Partiers participating in the Democratic Party as opposed to the GOP? 0 over 100?


  41. - Responsa - Friday, Oct 14, 11 @ 1:04 pm:

    How many different anonymouses are posting here today? It’s impossible to keep track. Not to play hall monitor, but perhaps if the anonymouses came up with distinct nicknames it would help the flow of the discussion a bit?


  42. - anon - Friday, Oct 14, 11 @ 1:04 pm:

    Never knew Rich’s dad had such a powerful weighted vote.


  43. - Anonymous - Friday, Oct 14, 11 @ 1:07 pm:

    Interesting. I’ve been saying the same thing all along, Responsa. Especially when my handle was first hi-jacked.


  44. - Anonymous - Friday, Oct 14, 11 @ 1:17 pm:

    I believe that was during the latter part of the Kirk campaign.


  45. - Shore - Friday, Oct 14, 11 @ 1:47 pm:

    Obama’s problem with the economy is that he has even less control over it than bush and republicans did over the iraq war and corruption in 2005. They still lost.

    Obama’s hope that his mountain of resources and that people won’t like the other side is exactly what Republicans thought would win it for them in 06 and Democrats in 2010. Both lost. What I don’t think his team really understands is when people are as upset as they are now DuPage county voters support duckworth for Hyde’s seat and Bostonians vote for a Republican for u.s. senate and Joe Walsh and scott lee cohen get elected.


  46. - steve schnorf - Friday, Oct 14, 11 @ 1:50 pm:

    Even simpler–use your real name; it has the added benefit of allowing us to judge your credibility to comment.


  47. - steve schnorf - Friday, Oct 14, 11 @ 1:55 pm:

    W As a party, we haven’t yet been able to nominate a candidate for President bad enough to make me not vote for him, but more and more we seem to be edging toward even wackier people in the hunt. I will have to really think about whether I could vote for someone who believes the earth is less than 10,000 years old. That really has a Alice in Wonderland quality to it.

    I don’t think you Ds have had to face such hard primary choices over the past few cycles.


  48. - wordslinger - Friday, Oct 14, 11 @ 2:03 pm:

    –I will have to really think about whether I could vote for someone who believes the earth is less than 10,000 years old. That really has a Alice in Wonderland quality to it.–

    Flinstones, too.


  49. - Irish - Friday, Oct 14, 11 @ 2:09 pm:

    I think a lot depends on how a few things turn out between now and the election.

    The Wall Street protesters have the opportunity to shine the light on how the large banks, corporations, etc, have not altered their way of thinking that got us into this mess. As one of them said The banks were supposed to become more helpful to struggling home owners in exchange for their bailouts and they have not. Even Bill Reilly was on their case last night on Letterman.
    The question that needs to be pushed is if we are to believe that the wealth of the rich should not be taxed because they are the ones who provide the fuel to the economic engine to bring us out of this recession; why are they sitting on trillions in fuel and not feeding the engine?

    The Republican response to the Wall Street protesters may also hurt them. For Michelle Bachmann to call them a mob, and other prominent Republicans to make light of their stance might make voters buy into the idea that the GOP is an elitist bunch and not to be bothered with the plight of commonfolk. A comparison of the beginning Tea Party movement to the Wall Street group and the question of are Republicans the only ones who can protest, might draw more folks to the Dem. moderate position.

    I think Obama needs to raise these issues and move back to middle of the Democratic positions in spite of those who want him way to the left. I think the Republican push to have their candidate move right is hurting them as is the Democrat position of wanting the President on the left of the spectrum.

    The consistent shooting themselves in the foot that has been going on with the Republican front runners also will come back to haunt them. The only one that does not seem to have some baggage is Cain, and he has no experience in government, whether that is a good or bad thing remains to be seen.

    Obama’s big problem is that his own party has done him no good at all in his home state. They have demonstrated at every turn why voters should not support them.


  50. - steve schnorf - Friday, Oct 14, 11 @ 2:14 pm:

    w, yes, if you believe that, then you have to either believe 1)dinosaurs walked with men, or 2)there were never any such things as dinosaurs.

    Believe in creationism as you choose (I don’t personally have much problem with the concept of a creation event, which like seeing a watch causes you to assume the existence somewhere of a watchmaker, does lead one to think more), but don’t disbelieve those things for which there is substantial scientific proof, not theory. That’s asking of us what the Queen asked of Alice, and many of us otherwise pretty consistent Rs, as well as more conservative Independents, will have a hard time going there.


  51. - Anonymous - Friday, Oct 14, 11 @ 2:16 pm:

    “Your pops represents millions of like minded people who thought Hope and Change was not just a cheap slogan, which as it turns out, is just that.
    Obama reached his talent pinnacle as State Rep.”

    Just a little history for ya GMatts, he was never a state rep.


  52. - jerry 101 - Friday, Oct 14, 11 @ 2:21 pm:

    Well, DuPage Dan, I’d vote for a Democrat, but it seems very unlikely that there will be one on the ballot. When it comes right down to it, there’s a reason Barack Obama is so fond of Ronald Reagan. They share the same political ideology.


  53. - Judgment Day - Friday, Oct 14, 11 @ 2:23 pm:

    It’s all about the economy - If it is starts to recover (highly unlikely, and that’s BAD for most of us) - then Obama will be golden.

    If it doesn’t, then he’s toast.

    He needs to do something different - and “Pass This Bill” isn’t getting it done. When people are making his use of the phrase as part of a drinking game (”Take a shot every time he says it”), you’re done. And doing over again what you’ve already done isn’t going to work, either.

    Fixing the economy, IMO means neither Democrat or Republican plans. Maybe a few ideas from each, but probably 3 at most from each side, and they’re not going to be big ones.

    But there’s other ideas that would work, but those ideas don’t have a lobbying constituency in DC or strongly within either party.

    Call the ideas that would start to work “The Main Street Approach”. And stick to it - 100% To Main Street.

    Illinois would be the perfect state to do it in.

    First off, you’ve got new a fresh leadership in both the City of Chicago and Cook County - and they’re having to think smart (got no choice) and look to be considering extraordinary options.

    Secondly, you’ve got statewide political leadership that is getting “unsettled” - they see potential changes coming, and know they’ve got to do something different, and likely radically different.

    Maybe whoever (or whichever party) can create a plausible “Main Street” platform will achieve supremacy.


  54. - Retired Non-Union Guy - Friday, Oct 14, 11 @ 2:26 pm:

    How did all that political experience of Obama work out? While he’s managed to get some of his agenda passed, it was partly through crisis invocation. Obama definitely ain’t an LBJ, twisting arms and moving legislation. A really smart politician who had to defend the current economic conditions would just not run.

    Cain may not have political experience but he has at least ran a successful business or two. I don’t like his tax plan … but he seems to talk more common sense than the rest of the field.


  55. - Slick Willy - Friday, Oct 14, 11 @ 2:53 pm:

    ===I’m hoping that Occupy Wall Street starts the tipping point away from the T-Bagger terrorists…===

    Really? I hope that you are just using hyperbole. If not, please substantiat your characterization of tea party members being terrorists. Bet you will fail miserably. Inflamatory and meaningless rhetoric contributes nothing to a meaningful discussion.


  56. - El Conquistador - Friday, Oct 14, 11 @ 2:56 pm:

    Off on a bit of a tangent here, but I have never understood the use of the term “RINO” and how it could possibly be beneficial to the republican party. I thought the idea was to garner more voters, not isolate them from you. I support the republican tenets of smaller government, but my idea of smaller government also means keeping the government out of bedrooms and other places it doesn’t belong. Conservatives tell me that means I’m not a republican. OK then. I won’t vote for them. Doesn’t seem like a winning strategy to me.


  57. - VanillaMan - Friday, Oct 14, 11 @ 2:59 pm:

    Obama has had little luck. He is gone.
    The GOP will massively support Romney, Perry, or Cain.
    The Independants will support Romney.
    The GOP knows this.
    The GOP wants a winner.
    With GOP and Indie support, Romney wins.

    Right now it is all about how big of a win.

    @ 2 percent National Romney win, IL Dems are spared.
    @ 4 or greater- possible bloodbath.


  58. - VanillaMan - Friday, Oct 14, 11 @ 3:07 pm:

    Two months ago, I worked it out as Obama- 146 electoral votes.
    Generic GOP - 392

    Romney is as generic as they come.
    The GOP will not risk a loss and will pick generic Romney.

    Il Dems must heed Madigans warning.

    Of course the President will win Illinois.


  59. - Rich Miller - Friday, Oct 14, 11 @ 3:08 pm:

    SW, thanks for pointing that one out. I missed it somehow. It’s gone now.


  60. - VanillaMan - Friday, Oct 14, 11 @ 3:13 pm:

    I enjoyed the Obama comeback scenarios.
    But we must not depend upon luck or oppositional mistakes.
    When we do, we will lose.

    Il Dems must work hard until Election Day, or they may be swept away.


  61. - 47th Ward - Friday, Oct 14, 11 @ 3:13 pm:

    ===Romney is as generic as they come.===

    Yes, but before he was generic he was authentic. Another classic Romney flip-flop, trying to be all things to all people, leading with his finger to the wind.

    Good luck with that VanillaMan.


  62. - VanillaMan - Friday, Oct 14, 11 @ 3:19 pm:

    You also just described Bill Clinton.
    I think we all know who would win if Bill was running don’t we?

    Flip flopper beats an Oval Office failure.
    Ask old man Bush.


  63. - dupage dan - Friday, Oct 14, 11 @ 3:19 pm:

    @ jerry 101 2:21 pm,

    =there’s a reason Barack Obama is so fond of Ronald Reagan. They share the same political ideology=

    Oh, Prunella, what a load! Obama may try to emulate Reagan’s gift of communicating, but that should not be confused with a comparative ideology.

    BTW, please, please, please vote democratic. If not Obama then maybe write in Dennis Kucinich. Or maybe Pat Paulsen. It shouldn’t matter that he is dead, so is the democratic partys’ chances next year if current trends continue.


  64. - VanillaMan - Friday, Oct 14, 11 @ 3:27 pm:

    “It’s the economy stupid!” - Carville.

    No one thinks bad about a Barbie Ken doll.
    Romney only has to remind Tea Partiers that he is not Obama.
    To everyone else, he seems too fake to be malicious.

    A President Romney is not frightening to anyone. Even me.


  65. - wordslinger - Friday, Oct 14, 11 @ 3:44 pm:

    –Flip flopper beats an Oval Office failure.
    Ask old man Bush. –

    I don’t recall Clinton having a reputation as a flip-flipper (Slick Willie, however you care to define that), and I think it’s a big stretch to call GHWB an oval office failure. But other than that…

    Besides the economy, there was a generational dynamic in play. The country had a long-run of WWII generation presidents, and the baby-boomers relative youth had to be served at some point.

    Clinton was born in 1946. GHW Bush in 1924 (same with Carter). Reagan was born in 1911, Ford and Nixon in 1913.


  66. - Bemused - Friday, Oct 14, 11 @ 3:48 pm:

    As I look back on things my feeling is that the Obama election was the best thing to happen to the Rs. It was about to hit the fan and if McCain Palin had got in the Party that was on the ropes would now be face down on the canvass.

    Obama’s handeling of things has not been great but do we really think the other folks would be in a better state by now? Anyway there are a lot of people who hope Obama is a one term wonder. They might be right. Oh wait a minute how about that Pat Quinn Bill Brady thing.
    So far the folks on the right have been able to cast Obama as the fall guy for all that is wrong in the country. They are quite good at that sort of thing. Now they need to put a better person in front of the voters. They have not sold me.
    As to the Tea Party, they can change thier name all they like but they are still the far right of the GOP as they have always been.


  67. - Retired Non-Union Guy - Friday, Oct 14, 11 @ 3:50 pm:

    Jerry,

    Ronald Reagan talked to people; Obama talks at people.


  68. - Rudy - Friday, Oct 14, 11 @ 3:53 pm:

    I think many people in the US are so used to prosperity, they are spoiled. They are also scared so they get angry. They want to affix blame and tend to overcorrect. So Obama, who did not create our conditions “owns the economy” and many are ready to embrace a TV preacher that wants to sell us a national sales tax.

    I think there are no simple solutions, that our lowered standard of living will be with us for a long time, and that we will eventually come to terms with it.


  69. - wordslinger - Monday, Oct 17, 11 @ 9:08 pm:

    –Two months ago, I worked it out as Obama- 146 electoral votes.
    Generic GOP – 392—-

    That’s quite a crystal ball you have there, swami, calling a landslide election 14 months before the votes are cast.

    However, there will not be a “generic” Brand X GOP candidate on the ballot in November 2012, but almost certainly one of those in the field today, none of whom has shown the ability yet to capture the GOP primary base, much less the general electorate.

    RealClearPolitics tracks the latest state polls and applies them to an electoral map. Based on that, as of today, states likely or leaning Obama totaled 201 electoral votes, while Mr./Ms. Generic GOP had likely or leaning 191, with 146 listed as tossups.

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2012/president/2012_elections_electoral_college_map.html

    Since the 1972-1992 era of GOP landslides (except Carter’s narrow win in 1976) the electoral map has tilted Democratic. In the last five elections, the results have been three decisive Democratic victories and two narrow GOP wins. The lowest Dem electoral tally since 1996 was Kerry’s 252 in 2004, just 18 short of the 270 needed for victory.

    In the last five elections, 18 states plus D.C. have gone Democratic every time. Obama won all of them by at least 10 ten points. In 2012, they will represent 242 of the 270 needed for election. They are all of the New England states (except New Hampshire), New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, California, Oregon, Washington and Hawaii. If you add the three states that have gone Democratic in four of the last five elections — Iowa, New Hampshire, and New Mexico, all won by Obama — the number rises to 257.

    For the GOP in the last five elections, 13 states have voted Republican each time, and will represent 102 electoral votes in 2012. They are Alaska, Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma, Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Mississippi, Alabama and South Carolina. If you add the six states that have gone GOP in four of the last five elections — Arizona, Montana, Virginia, Georgia, Indiana and North Carolina, the number rises to 171. It should be noted that Obama won Indiana, Virginia and North Carolina.

    Events over the next year will play a decisive role. Obama certainly could lose, but he’s not going to lose to just anyone. To win, the GOP, at the very least, will have to nominate a candidate, although they don’t seem too thrilled by that prospect at the moment. And to get 270 electoral votes, much less 392, that candidate will have to do a lot more than pander to Tea Partiers.


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