Monday, January 5, 2009

Should Republicans Be Thinking about 2016?

While I think that 2010 has potential to be a very good year for Republicans, at least in the House, the White House seems likely to be out of reach until 2016. At this point, a 2-term Presidency for Mr. Barack Obama (D-USA) seems a near certainty.

How can I say that before he’s even taken his first oath of office?

It’s true that I don’t know what the future holds. His administration may be rife with scandal. He may be a foreign policy disaster. He may generate enough angst from the right that they’re able to rise up and defeat him. All of those things are possible.

Here’s what’s probable though.

What’s the #1 question in voter’s minds when they go to the polls to re-elect an incumbent or vote in a new President?

“Am I better or worse off now than I was 4 years ago?”

It’s hard to see how most people will answer that as “worse”. I certainly hope that most people won’t. That would mean that we really are in a “depression” and not a “recession”. Because otherwise, because of or in spite of Mr. Obama, the economy should have recovered to some degree by then.

I already said that this blog is not going to be a cheerleader for every little negative thing that will hit the Obama administration. I’m certainly not going to root for the kind of economic downturn that would benefit a Republican Presidential candidate in 2012.

1 comment:

Brandon said...

Great point. Here's what I think about Obama and reelection: It will all depend on the state of the economy. I agree that it seems like the economy will, at some point, have no where to go but up. And it should be reaching that point pretty soon. If that pans out, as you and I believe it will, Obama should be a shoe-in in 2012 (perhaps a victory as large as Clinton's 9 point defeat of Dole in 1996).

However, there is always the chance (and probably a handful of economists to back it up) that the economy really will be a little worse, or at least so negligibly improved that no one notices. If that's the case, and God forbid it is (and I did not vote for Obama), Obama will face a tough, tough bid for reelection, that will all hinge on who the Republicans nominate in 2012.

But by and large, I agree with you. The Republicans are unlikely to return to the White Hosue any sooner than 2016. Does that mean they should give up on 2012 now? No, because it could well be within there reach. But it will all turn on the state of the economy, and Americans subjective perceptions of the economy in 2012.

It's really easy to see how Obama will win reelection. But it's not impossible to envision how he could be a one-term president.

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