Right now, Obama wins

Rick Perry is out.

Ron Paul is still in the game, and may yet run as a third-party candidate. But he won’t be the GOP nominee.

It is down to Obama vs. Romney, or Obama vs. Gingrich, or Obama vs. Santorum.



So, the White House has to be feeling pretty good
about things, just now. Not that Perry ever had the president’s re-election campaign at all quaking, but they must be thinking, with the field narrowed, “we can easily beat any of these guys.”

And I expect they can. Against Gingrich, all they have to do is run a loop of his ex-wife’s newly-taped-and-bitter interview segments against pictures of the intact and stable Obama family, repeat the myth of a “scandal-free” administration, and play the race card, on which the press is already giving assist.

Newt, if he is the candidate will, undoubtedly, also blow himself up a few times.

Against Romney, the class-war/taxes/distrust-of-Mormons angles will be hauled out — they’re already being put in place — and again, the press will give assist.

The fact that Romney “thinks” he pays “around 15%” in taxes will be trumpeted as an obscene legality by a party top-heavy with people who seem not to pay their taxes at all, until they’re looking for congressional confirmation. But that won’t matter. For now, there will be harping by the press on Romney’s unreleased tax filings, but little-to-no curiosity about when Obama might release either his college transcripts or, you know…a budget.

Santorum is the question mark at this point, but recall that when he came so close to winning (or perhaps won) in Iowa, a few hacks immediately went the “he’s crazy, he’s weird” route. That will continue along with silly pundits worrying about the potential “theocracy” that would undoubtedly be ushered in by a Santorum presidency. Lovers of high drama and hysterics will be in their glory. Nancy Pelosi and a number of Democrat women will give dramatic speeches about “women dying on the floors” and it will escalate from there.

Santorum, a good man who can nevertheless often seem annoyingly pissy, whiny and sour in debate, will give assist to the press, who will give assist to Obama.

The media assist to Obama is real, and needs to be taken into account. Recall Evan Thomas’ unapologetic projection that media assists can give a Democrat candidate an extra 10-15% they might not otherwise have (they certainly did, with John Kerry — a dreadful candidate who should never done as well as he did in the 2004 election) and yes, I think the White House has to feel good, right now.

As things stand today, you won’t hear any more about Hillary Clinton replacing Joe Biden on the ticket. She’s not needed. You won’t hear any more about her running independently specifically to rid the Democrats of Obama, which many of them would quietly love to see.

Absent a brokered convention, and barring something at-this-moment completely unforeseen, Obama will win re-election in ’12. In a cakewalk.

Just how stupid are the Republicans? That stupid. This election was theirs to lose. And they’re losing it.

It is what it is.

Of Interest:
Michael Barone: GOP Hopefuls are Unprepaired
I’ll say!
Ed Morrissey wonders if we really need to see any candidate’s tax returns.
Instapundit: Has a roundup of info on the Romney/Caymen story, which appears to be a nothingburger. Insty links to me in there, thanks, Glenn!
Da Tech Guy: Did the press play an old racist trick a few months ago?
Mickey Kaus: Has Obama abandoned private-sector unions?

Over on Twitter, The Campaign Spot’s Jim Geraghty is having some fun imaging what coulda been, if only Perry had stayed in one more day, and let loose with some rip-roaring Perryisms at the debate. Not sure how long he can keep it up, but right now it’s funny.

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • http://www.goldfishandclowns.com/ Jerry Wilson

    Elizabeth, you’ve been spending too much time reading the fanatics on Twitter.

    The election isn’t until November. In all likelihood the economy will take a terrible nosedive between now and then. You want to know what will defeat Obama? Five dollar a gallon gasoline.

    [Oh, I'm sure when the election rolls around, gasoline will be $2.30 a gallon, somehow. -admin]

  • http://www.patheos.com Amy

    So, the next best scenerio is for the Republicans to win the Senate and maintain the House. If they can pull that off then they have more leverage against Obama’s agenda. Right?

  • Dwiss

    Anchoress, you ruined my morning with this one, but I’m afraid you may be right, and I’ve been thinking along the same lines for a while. Obama should be vulnerable right now, but the Republicans just haven’t come forward with a compelling candidate. I think Newt could have out-debated Obama but he’s so flawed – and now this ex-wife thing. He’s done. Mit seems like McCain in a better suit. Maybe the electorate will wake up and see Obama for what he is…but I doubt it. Four years of Obama, we could recover. Eight years, probably not.

  • Richard Johnson

    Branding his ex-wife as bitter already? Have you heard the interview, or are you simply adopting the Gingrich campaign’s pre-emptive language as your own?

  • Peggy R

    Anchoress, I pray, really pray, that you are wrong. (Nothing personal);^D

    I pray that the people wake up and vote–for whomever the GOP candidate is. I haven’t heard one person say he or she would vote for O, even if they did before. I predict not one retiree, save a Dem devotee, will vote for O. (Based on several anecdotal experiences.)

  • brad

    I think the country is beyond the point where a opposing political parties/candidates/ administrations adhere to the established rules of governance. Where are also past the point where election results are routinely accepted. Agonizing over who the candidate is under this circumstance is akin to arranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

  • MarkC

    Anchoress, I love that you love politics! But, I don’t think the current numbers support this analysis. Romney and Obama are about even in a head – to – head. Other factors make an Obama reelection unlikely – high unfavorables, most people believe the country is going in the wrong direction, high unemployment etc.

    Boring old Mitt Romney is Mr. Teflon; and most people perceive him as an experienced hand on economic matters. The economy will trump all and Romney should win.

    Of course, the GOPs capacity for blowing a sure-thing is pretty high also ..

  • Mutnodjmet

    Anchoress: I am going to have to respectfully disagree with this one. While I concur with most of your fans that the focus should be on the House and Senate and the effort to get citizen-oriented candidates in place, there is more new media now covering the vacationing, golf-playing, Czar-hiring, man-child that is the current President. More and more Americans will be following the new media, as the legacy news sources of burnt their credibility cards. Ultimately, Americans will vote for the adult — which is clearly not Obama. Despite the ineptitude of the GOP, it is clear (even at this juncture) any of the potential nominees will be better than what we currently have. I think the sturm-and-drang of the primary season may make it seem otherwise. However, I think the GOP nominee will be stronger and better for having undergone this cycle of vetting; this will mean Team Obama and his media minions will be far less likely to create an “October surprise”.

  • jwm

    I know this is off-topic.
    Elizabeth, I enjoy your writing, and your blog immensely. I realize, as well, that allowing some advertising helps to defray the cost. But please, please, please dump this feature which leaves an annoying pop-up ad in the browser after it is closed. I refuse to patronize American Thinker for just this reason. I don’t want to dump your blog from my bookmarks, but this pop-up thing is as annoying as a telemarketer at dinnertime.

    JWM

    [It's not something I can control myself, J, but I will let Patheos know there is a complaint -admin]

  • Debbie

    I can’t agree either. First of all Gingrich can debate circles abound His Obamaness, if only the Republicans would forgive Newt his baggage and see that. Secondly, I live on a street where no less that three homes have gone through foreclosure and I know of other families who have suffered and are still suffering because of the unemployment. No job means no home. It means three families living under one roof. It means, that even with food stamps, families still need to go to the community Food Banks. It means 4 homeless children go to school to be warm because they can’t afford to repair the heater. All of this makes me, an independent, very, very angry! Look between the Obamas’ robes and you will find ignorance and want. Don’t underestimate the anger many Americans have simmering within. Tap into it, use it, get righteous, GET HUNGRY!

  • fiestamom

    Sadly, I agree with you. One caveat, I know Newt has a 747 worth of baggage, but in the debates, he’s managed to make it about Obama. The media certainly doesn’t remind us about how bad the economy is, but Newt’s “food stamp president” comment hit a nerve. I’m so mad at the media right now, I could spit nails. And after 2008, I didn’t think that was possible. The media destroyed Sarah Palin, and I think a lot of other qualified candidates (Christie, Jindal) didn’t want that to happen to them and their families. I can’t say that I blame them.

  • Rene

    Newt just became a Catholic. I believe he is in marriage # 3. If he became a Catholic this suggests that his first two marriages were annuled. I believe that John Paul II told the US bishops to make sure annulment does not become the equivalent of the Catholic divorce. Of course, I do not know for sure about Newt, but it makes you wonder whether some of our bishops pay any attention to what the Pope says.

  • http://evilbloggerlady.blogspot.com EBL

    This is a very good post Anchoress. I will link it!

  • dry valleys
  • Brian English

    The thought of Obama in a second-term, with no concerns about having to run for re-election, is terrifying. And if he gets to name two or three more justices to the Supreme Court, the damage will continue for decades after he leaves office.

  • Michael

    Are you kidding me with this analysis? Where is Ron Paul? National polls have been consistently showing ONLY Romney and Paul running head-to-head against Obama. Yet you conveniently sweep this under the rug by quickly asserting that he won’t be the GOP nominee. It is print and sound-byte assertions like this that assist the powers that be to play by their own rules without being taken to task by mere peasants like you and me. Ron Paul is the antithesis of Obama in every way and the only candidate from the GOP who will beat him in a general election – unless people like you keep trying to put an oil slick underneath his traction.
    What a shameful way to frame this discussion.

  • http://datechguyblog.com datechguy

    Disagree, The white house might be thinking “we can beat all of these guys” but the reality is all these guys can beat Obama.

    The media can spin and bring up baggage, but the bottom line is the American People have been living Obama baggage for 3 years and the MSM with its declining audience can’t change it.

  • Klaire

    Elizabeth I think you understand the American People and over estimate the power of the MSM. The MSM is not fooling many, if any, incuding the new “Jackie Gringrich” he said she said. You can go back and listen to every debate, and in them you will the biggest applause when the media gets it handed to them.

    I predict the Jackie Gringrich angry wife stuff is going to blow up on them, maybe even giving the win to Santorum or at the very least, not really hurting Newt much.

    It’s pretty obvious that people are sick of the tactics of the MSM, and I still thing Obama is lose in a landslide, and that either Santroum or Gingrich could make that happen.

    FWIW, Santorum has no plans to get out any time soon and he shouldn’t. Dare I say that if Catholics would only vote like Catholics (60 million), we would have the biggest voting block in the country and could by the Catholic vote alone, get in whomever we wanted to get him. Yeah, like that’s gonna happen, but just sayin’.

  • Klaire

    Sorry, meant to say “under estimate” not understand

  • http://contraniche.blogspot.com August

    Yes, if Ron Paul isn’t the nominee, there is no point. Why vote for another lying, empty suit when we’ve already got one?
    The Republic is long dead; these elections are just window dressing, a pretense so that the parasitical class, the bureaucrat, can continue to steal from us.

  • http://catholicsensibility.wordpress.com/ Todd

    Speaking as a liberal who doesn’t think much of Mr Obama, this opinion doesn’t exactly hearten me. I realize there are a lot of pumped up and embittered Republicans out there who think this is a catastrophe, but the truth is that the sun rose this morning, as it has every morning since 20 Jan 2009.

    Maybe this means a concession of the 2012 election on the presidential ticket and a labor for the Senate. Personally, I think the GOP, as its constituted now, is bad news for American society. I’d like to see an alternative to the Tea Party–people who are serious about government, and less eager to blow it up just for the spectacle.

  • fiestamom

    Well Todd, the sun rises on Venezuela and Cuba every morning too….

  • Bill G.

    This is 2008 all over again. The Republicans are going to choose the guy that the media has convinced them is the only electable candidate, then they will lose to Obama.

    The only difference is that now we KNOW what BHO is all about (well, some of us knew what he was then, but no one wanted to believe it), so it will be even scarier watching the idiots in the elephant party go down to defeat. They will even be affable about it, like that idiot McCain.

  • Jen

    Oh Elizabeth, your prediction is a big black cloud over my head now. I have never, ever before prayed for you to be WRONG. VERY WRONG. I simply can’t handle another four years of the Bamster. It is far too depressing a prospect to even consider. Please, dear God, save my country from this terrible fate.

    I have to take issue with your assessment of Santorum. Why in the world is everyone so hard on him? Whiny and sour? I don’t see it. I’ve listened to many of his speeches from his town hall meetings, and I catch glimpses of a young Reagan. I catch enticing glimpses of a leader with a vision, and passion, and conviction. America needs to see and hear far more of Rick Santorum. And people need to stop dismissing him and support him. If we end up with Romney it’s because we settled for Romney because we were too afraid to take a risk on the guy who could have actually been a great leader.

    [Jen, I want to like Santorum, I really do. But his manner puts me off. Every debate, I find myself just thinking, "stop it! Stop that thing you do..." and I can't even tell you what the thing is. It's just, as I say, "pissy, whiney, sour..." schoolmarmish? I don't know. Can't name it...but it always pushes me away. -admin]

  • http://catholicsensibility.wordpress.com/ Todd

    True. But about that, don’t you find it curious that the communist dictatorships the US has opposed most strenuously, to the point of going to war (Korea, Vietnam) or blockading (Cuba) are among the most resistant to internal change? I think we would have done the Cubans a favor by just ignoring them after the missiles left. Why is US foreign policy so hell-bent on making enemies? Can you answer me that one?

    Bottom line: above any or all ideologies is the importance of a free people to determine their own form of government. I don’t think we’re giving up on the United States, so I’m not sure why the fuss to dismantle a federal government that most people seem to think we need.

  • http://evilbloggerlady.blogspot.com EBL

    http://evilbloggerlady.blogspot.com/2012/01/late-breaking-news-in-political-race-it.html

    I linked you above. Which raises the question, if the GOP does want to win (with Romney, Gingrich, or Santorum) is it time to make peace with Ron Paul?

  • Jen

    Elizabeth,
    Have you seen this one? The video/audio quality isn’t great, but the speech is awesome. Worth watching. THIS is Rick. And he’s only going to get better and better… he’s a diamond in the rough. (Though you see much more “rough” than I do!)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MK-WmxB3DIU

  • Ann

    Chris Christie 2016!

  • Oregon Catholic

    “[Oh, I'm sure when the election rolls around, gasoline will be $2.30 a gallon, somehow. -admin]”

    And unemployment numbers will be even artificially lower than they are now. And if all else fails there is war with Iran.

  • barry

    “Obama will win re-election in ’12. In a cakewalk. Just how stupid are the Republicans? That stupid. This election was theirs to lose. And they’re losing it.”

    How are they losing it Elizabeth, you just explained how the MSM is in the tank for Obama, so how are THEY (R’s) losing it? Maybe this is just something the patheos crew is hoping for? have you read mark Shea’s posts?

  • SteveM

    Barack Obama is atrocious.

    Mitt Romney is blithely promising tax cuts, a balanced budget and increases in spending for the Military-Security Complex. All by nibbling around the edges of the sclerotic American Crony-Political Leviathan. Toss in a new War for good measure. Romney’s gauzy, shallow “Believe in America” schtick is bogus.

    Rick Santorum is Pro-Life except that he’s also a rank militarist who countenances death quite nicely when it’s delivered by the American War Machine.

    You may not agree with Ron Paul about everything. But he’s much closer to ground truth than any of those other guys. America is falling over a cliff. It’s Empire project is unaffordable and unsustainable. 2012-2016 is going to be hard slog time. Incremental change to a thoroughly busted Federal governance model that Obama and Romney suggest will be a big FAIL.

    And yeah, Obama or Romney will most probably be elected. And since they are both stupid and feckless, expect either one to go down in history as the 21st Century Herbert Hoover when the implosion happens.

    Emigration anyone?

  • Howard

    To the question about Newt’s previous 2 marriages and the Catholic Church: His first wife is dead, so that marriage did not have to be annulled. His second marriage was invalid, because at the time his first wife was still alive. This is enough for him to be OK canonically, though it still leaves an unflattering picture of his character.

  • Tom Wannamaker

    From the sound of this op-ed piece, the “media assist” you speak of is already working. On you.

    Turn off the RSS feed, walk away from the laptop, take a breath. The game ain’t over. Not by a long shot.

  • Tom T

    Elizabeth, you probably haven`t seen the latest out of Iowa. Santorum won Iowa by 38 votes. My view is that the only person who can beat Obama, and do it without a teleprompter, is Gingrich. I think you also underestimate the American voter. People have been paying attention and I think you are going to see a backlash against the liberal media. That has already happened to some extent in two debates. I don`t ever remember seeing before, two liberal left wing Obama supporting media celebrities being booed for their questions and it happened in New Hampshire and South Carolina with two entirely different make up of voters. People are wise and know what is going on with the media this time as they have actually gotten less subtle in their open defense of Obama policies and don`t even try to cover up their bias anymore. Ron Paul will never be nominated, his foreign policy views are frightening and he is taking advantage of the great divide created by Obama pitting the young and the old against each other. That is of course, dirty sewer style Chicago politics to divide and conquer and if you think it is bad now, just wait. This will be one of the dirtiest, meanest back stabing campaigns you have ever seen between two idealogues. Newt is very intelligent and quick and Obama is scared to death of him and that is why the liberal media is trying to take him down and if Mitt goes along with him, so much the better. Don`t worry though, as we speak you can be sure someone is in kenya interviewing some of Obama`s relatives and tracking down his illegal immigrant nephew wherever he might be. This is probably one of the most important elections of our lifetime, the very heart and soul of our Judeo Christian beliefs are at stake, I think this time people are paying a lot closer attention than you might think. Personally I don`t like any politicians in either party however, I`ll take a conservative over a left wing liberal any day when it comes to my faith, pro-life and the rights of the unborn and Catholic and other organizations being able to help people without being forced to make a choice of either giving up their core beliefs or giving up their charitable organization that might help thousands of people including adoption agencies. The attacks by this administration HHS on Catholic institutions and colleges like Belmont Abbey is frightening. I don`t ever remember in my lifetime the American people having so many law suits against U.S. Govt. from so many states trying to exercise their rights under the tenth amendment. Quite frightening. Pax

  • Francisco Lozano

    Why have you completely just brushed off Ron Paul? He came in a strong third in Iowa, A good second place in New Hampshire, Is polling in the top three in South Carolina and other early states, and unlike Gingrich and Santorum he has the organization and money to stay competitive. Let us not forget that CNN poll showing that only Paul and Romney are neck and neck with Obama if the election were today. Santorum and Gingrich would loose by a lot. I am just curious why you brushed him off right off the bat.

  • Matt

    I love how Ron Paul is dismissed immediately regardless of his momentum gains and rising popularity. He has plenty of time, and this is plain awful reporting. I don’t care what you THINK or about your THEORIES, Elizabeth. I care about what’s going on and your blatant disregard for a strong candidate is laughable. Im not even a Ron Paul supporter, yet you treating him like he doesn’t exist within the first 2 sentences just tells me this article is a waste of my reading time.

  • Edward, SFO

    Not entirely sure why this article is posted at Patheos or described as Catholic. Since I have begun reading your stuff it seems more of a political diatribe than anything constructive in terms of faith.

  • Sarah

    Sorry, Elizabeth, I have to disagree with you. For one thing, Perry was /never/ going to get the nomination. It was always going to Obama vs. Gingrich/Romney/Santorum (though I think Gingrich can be safely ruled out as well).

    I am actually more optimistic every time we rule out another nut. I’m glad Perry’s finally out. It was never going to be him, so I’m glad I can stop hearing him talk.

    Somewhere up there you responded to one of your comments that you didn’t like Santorum, but you didn’t know why. Silly. Silly, silly, silly. And dangerous. In this tense political climate, we need to vote for the guy who is going to get the job done, not the guy you think is the least whiny-sounding.

    Gingrich is a fascist, Romney, because he comes down so hard in the center, will be ineffective. Santorum, while not likely to get the nomination (I really believe it will go to Romney), is a great candidate.

  • MaryW

    Howard

    For the record: Newt”s first wife is very much alive. She had a benign tumor removed when she and Newt were already in the process of getting a divorce. His younger daughter has written about the misconceptions surrounding her parents’ divorce. Not to excuse Newt for his philandering, but he was just 16 yrs. old when he became involved with his first wife who was a teacher and 7 years his senior. They married when he was 19 yrs. old. As for his second wife, who has an axe to grind, she was a consenting adult when she decided to have an affair with a married man.

    I have no horse in this race, yet. It’s a shame that I will probably have to hold my nose when I vote this year, just as I did in 2008.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Honestly, I don’t like being right in my predictions.

    But I kind’ve forsaw this when Caine, and so many other Republican candidates, dropped out of the running, one by one.

    We couldn’t find anybody who came up to our standards: Caine didn’t have enough experience, and was scandalous; Palin didn’t have enough experience, was scandalous, and furthermore, came from Alaska. Rick Perry and Michelle Bachman were just plain scandalous (or something.) Huntsman, Giuliani, Bolton, Alan West all dropped out, or refused to run. So, we’ve got what we’ve got, and that isn’t much. All our candidates right now seem very weak to me, and all of them have some sort of “scandal” the media will trumpet endlessly. (I see one of Newt’s ex-wives is going after him—we knew this was going to happen—and the media’s certain to go after Romney’s Mormonism.)

    We should have found one strong candidate, and gotten solidly behind him or her.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    We’ve had since 2008 to come up with a candidate—and we’v known for years that 2012 was going to be a very important—and very tough—election. So why didn’t we do better?

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Um, Emigrate where, SteveM?

    If America falls, where you do you recommend we go?

  • amdg

    It is the democracy… Denounce it or enjoy it.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    EBL, winning—just to win—isn’t everything.

    A lot of people, both Democrat and Republican, are not crazy about Ron, and don’t see him as much of an alternative to Obama. And some of his connections, and the statements he’s made, will make him an all too easy target for the MSM, if he runs.

  • Brian

    “Bill G. says: …The only difference is that now we KNOW what BHO is all about…”

    Do tell?

  • Tom T

    As for Ron Paul, his domestic policy and ideas are right on the money. I
    happen to agree with most everything he says but on foreign policy matters he is a wing nut. That was clearly pointed out at both debates. Like it or not, the world has gotten smaller and the philosophy of just packing up and leaving the world to do it`s own thing would not only damage us but put the U.S. in a very, very vulnerable position. If you look at history there was another time that a president felt that way and decided that we don`t need trade with other nations. It precipitated
    the great depression. Sadly, foreign policy today, not only from a trade stand point, but from strategic peace manuvering and the safety of our allies and ourselves is dependant on solid and smart policy which this administration has failed to do and the results can be clearly seen in the Mid-East and elsewhere such as Russia and China and Iran and which is totally missing with Ron Paul. He will have a seat at the convention and an influence, but he will never be able to be nominated. I certainly hope we don`t have to go out building cement bunkers again
    like some did during the cold war when we as children had to practice for air raids in school by diving under our desks. Now you know how old I am. Also, on the domestic front the problem is, he dosen`t think that the goverment should provide social security or medicare. Here again, you see he is taking advantage of the divide between the young and the old. The young people today don`t believe social security will be there for them so they are on the bandwagon with him. He is not going to get much support from people who paid into both and are now recepients. Just my thoughts. Oh, and talk about whiney, he could never debate the silver tongue, that is going to take a skilled and quick
    and intelligent debater, all which Gingrich is, sadly with the American voter, the one who gets that knockout one liner in the debate, wins the prize. Pax.

  • milmarm

    Elizabeth… People… PRAY! Pray EVERY day. Pray ALOT between now and the November election. And, don’t lose hope. FAITH has saved entire cities and countries before. So, let’s be people of faith. Don’t give in to the temptation to despair.

    [Oh, I'm not despairing. I fully expect that God has a plan that takes the longview we can't see. He always does. I'm just saying, don't be surprised. -admin]

  • charleswoodbury

    Anyone remember Ross Perot? In ’92 the issue was not the candidates, but the issue of Gatt & Nafta trade treaties. -that sucking sound was our manufacturing jobs leaving our country, aided by our national chamber of commerce, so we needed crazy Ross then.
    Today is the issue of our constitution being shelved, and what little if any rights we still have not disappearing. (see Washington Post, “10 reasons why the U.S. is no longer the land of the free”).
    So we need crazy Ron Paul now, and barring a miracle, we won’t get him.

  • Howard

    I agree with Elizabeth. Obama will win, not because he is popular but because no strong candidate has emerged on the Republican side.

    I think the election may be closer this year than before; we might even have a situation where the Republicans win in the popular vote but lose in the electoral college. Two things work against Obama this time. (1) Retirees in Florida will be furious that their investment-based retirement incomes have not recovered. Republicans MUST win Florida to have a chance, and I think this year they will. (2) Last time Obama was “the candidate of hope and change”, one who could appeal to contradictory groups because no one knew what that meant. Now he has a record in office.

  • Howard

    @MaryW

    Thanks for the correction. I was passing on what I had heard, which made sense at the time. More sense, I’m afraid, than his actual situation.


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