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Barack Obama 2012: 7 Reasons President Obama May Win Reelection
Barack Obama in 2012
Barack Obama is likely to win a second term in the 2012 election, for the following reasons.
1. He is the incumbent, which gives him a natural advantage that is well-documented historically. Not only do Americans tend to defer to what is established as long as it is going pretty well, but the incumbent has the entire media establishment at his disposal.
2. One year before the election, we now know basically all of the Republican contenders. Some are stronger than others, but none are compelling alternatives to Obama. And they all have deep flaws (for example, Gingrich with his marital affairs, Romney with his universal healthcare plan as Governor of Massachusetts, etc).
3. Obama may not be great at governing, but he is one of the best at campaigning in modern times.
4. The Republican party in general is at an awkward place.
- The party establishment lost a lot of clout to the Tea Partiers in the most recent Congressional elections.
- Ron Paul (probably the most intellectually honest and straightforward of them all) continues to hang around, annoying everyone
- Donald Trump was able to gain significant support in the party for a period of time, and may again in the coming months
- Sarah Palin remains a celebrity with her own fiercely loyal base within the party
- The birther issue was an intellectual and morale disaster for the party, insofar as the majority of Republicans bought into it
5. Obama killed bin Laden. A politically compelling argument can easily be made that Obama accomplished in 3 years what Republican George Bush could not in 8 years. The killing of bin Laden also demonstrates Obama's ability to make difficult decisions on security matters, which has been a consistent source of attack from conservatives in the last few years.
6. With Huckabee out, the Evangelicals and values voters have no one to passionately support. Without someone to advocate for their values and culture war priorities, many are likely to stay home on election day.
7. The economy, while still struggling, probably can't get any worse between now and the election, and may very well improve.
Obama and the Republicans in 2012
Obama's two biggest weaknesses are:
1. The fiscal/ debt crisis, which is on the minds of voters like never before, and which Obama did not help with his healthcare law, and which the Republicans have a decent shot at making some headway in. Republicans such as Congressman Paul Ryan, and Governor Chris Christie are making headlines for their constructive solutions to the modern American fiscal crisis.
2. Foreign policy: Obama has completely failed to articulate a coherent doctrine in this area, and exhibits inconsistency by withdrawing from Iraq while pushing harder into Afghanistan, intervening in Libya whilst standing by idly in Syria, and doing nothing during the Iranian protests months ago. Now that bin Laden is dead, the administration is in an awkward place of trying to justify continued operations in Afghanistan, while Al Qaeda and most of the terrorist threat is based in Pakistan.
Update: Donald Trump
Donald Trump has just announced he won't run for president after all. Another one bites the dust. The Republican field continues to look thinner and less impressive, with a number of high-profile potential contenders dropping out or announcing they won't run.