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
  • Michael

    I still don’t get all of the hand-wringing here. If you are looking for a principled, Christian candidate for president, Ron Paul is right in front of your face. He doesn’t wear his faith on his sleeve and pray in public squares for political points like Rick Santorum – he chooses rather to lead by example.
    As far as social security and medicaid, he is looking to preserve those payouts to those who are most vested, and bring alternatives/opt outs to these programs for those young enough to do so (I wouldn’t call that age warfare by any stretch of the imagination).
    As far as his vision on foreign policy – we would still have, by far – the largest, most powerful military in the world. We just wouldn’t use it for perpetual warfare and intimidation to benefit nation-building corporations and the whims of bloodthirsty bankers. If we are truly Christian, isn’t this the correct foreign policy?
    Please, tell me why the dismissal of Ron Paul. It truly does baffle me.

  • Mark

    The race has a long way to go and when people wake up with a choice of X or Obama and have to start focusing, I think you will begin to see Obama start to drop. Many people who have been flitting around which Republican have for the most part all agreed on one thing, Obama is horrible and bad for this country. We can’t take this empty suit socialist for another term. I also think gas prices will begin to go up and this will really hit home as they are at a critical state right now for most families. Saw on the news the other day that cars in the American driveways are at their oldest average ever as people are not buying cars because the gas is already eating up transportation budgets. They are also not having them taken care of because of cash. This is hitting a lot of industries. If Obama reaches joke stage by the Democratic convention, look for a switch to Hillary for VP to try to save him. The unions are not seeing their lives improve under Obama dispite all their funding and support and many will stay home. Young people are seeing their future go negative and many are no longer supporting Obama or do not see a reasong to vote. If Ancrhoress is right, the media will try to get over involved and be seen as forcing Obama on the country again and the media is now hated about as much as the government. This will fire up those who are against Obama. Business is going to get involved as well against Obama if the economy continues to tank and if it gets worse, Obama is toast. In reality, Obama is more along for the ride than leading. I do not think he has a clue about how to lead.

    Unless the republican candidates really do something really bad, I think this is going to be a Republican sweep of Obama and both houses of congress in a big way.

  • Thomas R

    The dismissal of Ron Paul is pretty easy to understand, but if you’re a real Ron-Paulian the question “why are you dismissing him?” is possibly rhetorical. You either know the answer, but don’t want to hear it, or you wouldn’t accept any answer given. (The majority of Republicans say he’s unacceptable, he’s 76 yet older people don’t support him, he’s never won a state or a state-office, few Americans are as non-interventionist as he, a guy who opposes the Civil Right Act is an idiotic choice against a black President, a guy who is borderline hostile to Lincoln is an idiotic choice for “The Party of Lincoln”, etc)

    But yeah I think Republicans have blown it. I think Romney will lose “respectably”, it won’t be a blow-out, but I think he’ll lose. I think Gingrich could maybe win, but I think there’s also a good chance he could lose disastrously bad. The “sure respectable loss” might be “safer” for Republicans other prospects than a guy who could potentially alienate independents and lose the party seats. His good qualities aside Santorum I think would lose badly. Fiscal conservatives would probably not be enthused enough, but social progressives I think would be enthused to vote against him.

  • Marie

    Thomas said,
    (The majority of Republicans say he’s unacceptable, he’s 76 yet older people don’t support him, he’s never won a state or a state-office, few Americans are as non-interventionist as he, a guy who opposes the Civil Right Act is an idiotic choice against a black President, a guy who is borderline hostile to Lincoln is an idiotic choice for “The Party of Lincoln”, etc)

    Paul is “unacceptable” only because his ideas have never been tried. At his point in America, there’s nothing more to lose, so why not try him. I’m a non-white, female, 70 -year-old, and while I acknowledge that Paul is old, his ideas are young and ageless. He supports the Civil Right Act and knows that Blacks have less opportunities to better their livelihood and are not always equal with Whites under the law.

    About those newsletters. Those newsletters were published by his friends may years ago and yes, he confessed that he should have edited them more tightlt before distribution. He cared now which of his friends wrote them. They’re sorry and so is he. But he’s not like Obama who throws friends under the bus.

    He was not hostile to Lincoln – merely that Paul thinks there would have been a better way to free the slaves than wage a war. Much like what Our Lady of Ransom and the Order of Mercedarians did for those captives by the Saracens.

  • Max

    The funny thing about Paul is that he trounces Obama among independents AND takes democrats away from Obama. He is the most electable Republican in the field by far.

    Ron Paul takes the Youth vote from Obama, and would actually put CALIFORNIA in play. The establishment of the party is blind. Ron Paul is the only one who can beat Obama.

  • Oregon Catholic

    Does anyone still think the presidency is that powerful, especially on the economic front? The real power resides with Congress and the lobbyists who pull their puppet strings. Vote anti-incumbant in every Senate and House election until the entrenched corruption is cleaned out. If politicians know they will not be going back for a second term they have no incentive to be corrupt or beholden to anybody except the electorate. And the careerist hopefuls who are only in it for themselves will have no incentive to run in the first place.

  • Tom T

    To be realistic, in order for Ron Paul to win the nomination he would either have to have the partie`s backing or run as an independant and I don`t see either happening. The party won`t back him because there is a great deal of money tied up from businesses that are invested in the military complex and also there are too many hawks at the top of the party. Elizabeth and others may be right though. We will know better after the ABC airing tonight of the ex-wife which I find more than a little suspicious coming two days before the vote. We might
    wind up with Romney in which case Obama will probably get re-elected using class warfare and whatever else he can to frame him a Wall street favorite. Liberals will march off a cliff supporting something they don`t even believe in. They already did it with the health care bill that cost many their seats in the midterms.Sadly, Most people in this country don`t look past the headlines and the sound bites. Hold on to to your seat. It is going to be a nasty fight. Pax

  • Linus

    I wouldn’t underestimate the unpopularity of this President. The people know that he hasn’t done anything which will actually help their lives improve, everything he has done has been destructive to their future and the country’s future and he will not change if re-elected ( because he will be a lame duck president with four years to flesh out his ideology) and the people know it. I think either Romney or Santorum can win, Newt never had a chance, I don’t know why he even tried ( the past of his personal life is dreadful, although I wish him well). But our candidate will have to ” take it to Obama ” to win – and stop with the whining already!!! Stand up and deliever a punch – take the fight to him. Don’t be so negative!! In any case, the final result will be God’s Will. We deserve what we will get – good or bad.

  • Patt

    Oh yes Ms. (Mrs. ?) Scala—I agree with you and I have been concerned about this for some time. Romney, gag, Newt-NEVER! Poor R candidates and people will not want to bother to vote them in. Sad situation, I would love to be wrong on this one. I never thought BO could get elected–stupid me and stupid voters.
    Lord send us a MIRACLE.

  • Pingback: The South Carolina Debate « The Anchoress

  • BHC

    I thought this was a religious blog, not another political website.

    [From its inception this blog has been about religion, politics, baseball, books and anything else I felt like talking about. That's the beauty of a blog. -admin]

  • Thomas R

    “Paul is “unacceptable” only because his ideas have never been tried.” Marie

    TR: I should have added that one to the list. I’m not a Republican, but I am conservative. So I’m extremely cautious on a plan to implement a bunch of untried ideas.

    And the things he said in the debate about the US before Medicare were implausible, regardless of what you feel about the program. Granted maybe in the community he lived they were true, but pre-1964 we had massive poverty in Appalachia and in much of the South. I really doubt healthcare was “better then” for people.

  • Greta

    Max, the Democrats and their PR arm, the MSM, would love nothing better than Ron Paul. They have not gone after him at all to date because they want the republicans to reject him hoping he will again try to run third party. If he were actually nominated, he would look like the racist village idiot by election time. This is a reason he shows up well in polls today against Obama. Imagine if Romney had a newsletter under his name in his past close to Ron Paul? Why isn’t the media making that an issue big time. Was he asked about it during the debate last night? I like a lot of what Ron Paul stands for, but if anyone knows America’s role in the world today, if we went to his foreign policy tomorrow, we would leave a vacuum that is very dangerous. No one likes the world we live in and few like war. But evil demands that we have a strong military and that we extend that military all over the world. Imagine if we had few if any bases around the world and something happens we have to respond. Because we pulled out, we have few friends left and no way for us to even mount an attack or care for our insured troops. Right now, we have assets and bases in very strategic location that give us a way to respond to whatever happens. That is one major problem for China if they want to expand which is why they have such an agressive program going on to partner with other countries and to expand their military assets. In the last ten years, China is spending a lot more funding to expand when Paul would be cutting our drastically. The world learned a lesson with Hitler that you cannot appease evil, but have to show valid strength which will give them pause.

  • Brian English

    “I wouldn’t underestimate the unpopularity of this President.”

    And in his arrogance, he will keep pulling stunts like his rejection of the Keystone pipeline, so we always have that working in our favor.

    “I think Romney will lose “respectably”, it won’t be a blow-out, but I think he’ll lose.”

    People keep comparing Romney to McCain, but Romney has one powerful advantage McCain did not: the chaotic three-plus years of Obama as president to run against. I simply can’t believe that anyone outside of Obama’s base is going to go into that voting booth and say, “Yeah, I want four more years of this guy.”

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Greta, good points about Ron Paul.

    (Not to mention the fact that he seems to blame America for 9/11.)

    If Paul were to run, the media would be all over him, re some of his daffier comments—which they ignore now, and those newsletters from his past. I think they would like to see him run as a third party candidate.

  • doc

    It’s interesting and appropriate to see Crazy Uncle Ron compared to Perot. One thing I fear they’ll have in common is the 3rd Party run which results in a Democrat in the White House. Anchoress, I sure as hell hope you’re dead wrong about this here premise. I also think you sell Santorum short.

  • Howard

    What concerns me is that we may end up with Obama vs. Romney. Romneycare is not that different from Obamacare; on social issues he seems to tailor his convictions to the election, rather than having firm convictions that voters can choose or reject; and his economic plans are not going to win votes. I don’t think he can win, and I don’t trust what he would do in office. I don’t trust him to do anything about abortion, except give fund-raising speeches about it in another 4 years; he already supports “gays” in the military; and like most of the other Republican candidates, his idea of “honoring our troops” is to start new wars for them to die in.

    With Obama trust is not an issue; I have every confidence that he will be even worse in his 2nd term than in his first, because he will know that he will never again have to face the voters. This is when he will try to “define his legacy”, which scares the crap out of me.

    Under these circumstances, do we have a moral obligation to choose the lesser evil? DO WE EVER HAVE A MORAL OBLIGATION TO CHOOSE EVIL? Of course not.

  • Brian English

    “One thing I fear they’ll have in common is the 3rd Party run which results in a Democrat in the White House.”

    Paul would destroy his son’s political career if he did that, so I think that will preclude a third-party run.

    “I don’t think he can win, and I don’t trust what he would do in office.”

    He most certainly can win, and people keep forgetting that Romney will have to face the voters in 2016, when people like Christie, Jindal, Ryan and Rubio will be ready to run. I doubt he wants to experience the humiliation of being a sitting president who loses his party’s nomination through a primary challenge, so he has to watch what he does.

  • Chris

    The “Anybody But Obama” concept is essentially a personal issue, not an ideological one. Most Republicans holding to it don’t care if a clone of Obama is elected as long as that clone calls itself “Republican”.

    The Republican & Democrat parties are essentially identical, with only superficial differences, which is why Paul isn’t an acceptable Republican.

    I suspect the GOP nominee will be Romney, and since there is no difference between him & Obama other than race & religion, not only will the incumbent win, but it will not matter in the least….

  • Howard

    “I doubt he wants to experience the humiliation of being a sitting president who loses his party’s nomination through a primary challenge….” When is the last time that happened to a Republican? I’ll believe it when I see it.

    It won’t happen, because even now almost no one is voting for Romney because they think he is the best man to lead the country. They’re voting for Romney because they think he is the only real alternative to Obama. Rest assured, the Democrats will not run someone more palatable in 2016, and the same people will rally behind any Republican incumbant, just because he won’t be a Democrat. Even “pro-life” Santorum has backed Arlen Specter and Christine Todd Whitman; don’t think the Republican Party wouldn’t do what it could to crush any upstarts against a sitting Republican president.

    So no, Romney can’t win this election. There remains some hope that Obama will lose it — he has lots of weaknesses, after all. But that would be people voting for the-guy-who-isn’t-Obama, not for Romney in particular.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    If Ron Paul does run, either as a third party candidate or as a Republican, the media will pull out all the stops going after him. His past connection to groups like Stormfront, the racist newsletters issued in his name, all his nutzoid comments about 9/11, Israel, etc are all going to come out. He isn’t electable. The media is going easy on him now, because they’re hoping he starts up that third party, and thereby wins the election for Obama. But, if he actually starts to run, they’ll keep him from being elected.

    And he shouldn’t be elected, because the guy really is a looney-tune.

  • Brian English

    “I suspect the GOP nominee will be Romney, and since there is no difference between him & Obama other than race & religion, not only will the incumbent win, but it will not matter in the least….”

    You have to be joking. Do you really think Romney and Obama would nominate the same people for the Supreme Court? Do you really think a Romney Administration would be attacking conscience protection rights the way Obama is? Do you actually believe that Romney would reject the Keystone pipeline if it was brought before him? Do you really think Romney would pursue the same economic policies as Obama? Romney may have some RINO baggage, but he is not Obama.

  • Brian English

    “Rest assured, the Democrats will not run someone more palatable in 2016, and the same people will rally behind any Republican incumbant, just because he won’t be a Democrat. Even “pro-life” Santorum has backed Arlen Specter and Christine Todd Whitman; don’t think the Republican Party wouldn’t do what it could to crush any upstarts against a sitting Republican president.”

    Christie, Ryan, Rubio and Jindal would not be considered upstarts. If Romney won the election and started behaving as if he was back running Massachusetts, he would be out in 2016.

  • Howard

    @Brian English

    “We don’t have a litmus test for appointing judges.” — Mitt Romney

    Yes, Obama will continue to make bad nominations. But the “no litmus test” statement really means, “I want the pro-life vote, but don’t expect me to do anything for you.” That’s because he really DOES have a long list of litmust tests — unless you think he will appoint people taken at random from the telephone book, law degree or no law degree.

  • Howard

    *Anyone* starting from square one against a sitting president of his own party will be considered an upstart, and the party would work to take the choice out of the hands of the electorate.

  • Taylor

    Well, God is in control, no matter what. :-)

  • Amie

    Ron Paul has my vote. I saddened to see people would consider this race going to one of those other 3 stooges.

  • Howard

    The interesting primary state will be Virginia, because there it will just be Ron Paul vs. Romney.

  • Thomas R

    “People keep comparing Romney to McCain, but Romney has one powerful advantage McCain did not: the chaotic three-plus years of Obama as president to run against.”

    That might be so, but not everyone dislikes Obama as much as people here or our associates. According to Pew Research his support among Democrats is as high as Clinton had in 1996.

    http://pewresearch.org/pubs/2175/barack-obama-mitt-romney-job-approval-ratings-favorability-congress-economy?src=prc-headline

    From one perspective he killed Osama, ended the Iraq War, had no sex-scandals, tried to increase health-care coverage, and is a balance against a Republican House.

    Now they do have him as weaker with Independents than Clinton in 1996 or Bush in 2004. Romney generally does better with independents than Gingrich so maybe it could work. Except that in personal-likeability I think Obama still does better than Romney.

    I might be underestimating Romney’s chance of winning. Looking at the map I could see how he could theoretically squeak by, but I think it’s more likely he’ll lose with around 250 or so electoral votes to Obama’s 280 or so. I think he would probably take Colorado, Nevada, New Hampshire, Indiana, and likely Ohio. I don’t see him doing much better in the South than McCain unless the black-vote is depressed. His strongest areas are probably New England and the Rockies, but the only New England states I think will shift are small and the majority of the Rockies went for McCain anyway. Just my opinion.

  • http://catholicsandtruth.blogspot.com/ D.A. Howard

    Dick Morris, who got Bill Clinton elected said, because 20% of Democrats have left the Democratic Party, any candidate but Ron Paul would win. I am sorry, but I trust Dick Morris more than you. Karl Rove, who got George Bush elected twice, said similar things.

    Your analysis fails. I wish you would realize that politics is all about polls and not about personal biases.

  • Brian English

    And I would hope that everyone reading this blog, regardless of which GOP candidate they support now, will think about the fact that yesterday afternoon Obama and his creature Sebelius told the USCCB, various Catholic colleges and institutions, and other religiously affiliated employers, to drop dead. There will be no conscience exemption under the healthcare regulations for employers except for the Church itself.

    The economic situation is important for the upcoming election, but religious liberty is threatened as well. If you don’t understand that, you are not paying attention.


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