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The future’s so bright, Obama’s gotta wear shades

"I see an empty suit . . ."

Would I joke about something like this?

A Forecast That Obama Could Love

THINGS are looking up for Barack Obama.

You might not think so, given the flow of news lately. His foreign policy has met with limited success, at best. And, back home, unemployment is mired at 9.6 percent. Earlier this month, in a major political blow, Democrats lost more than 60 seats and control of the House of Representatives.

So what is there for Mr. Obama and his supporters to cheer about?

Try this: Based on the facts at hand right now, Mr. Obama is likely to win the 2012 election in a landslide. That, at least, is the prediction of Ray C. Fair, a Yale economist and an expert on econometrics and on the relationship of economics and politics.

What’s the basis of this forecast? In a nutshell: “It’s the economy, stupid.”

To make a long story short, Mr. Fair thinks:

A) The economy will be booming again by 2012 and

B) Obama will be Mr. Popular again.

I’ll agree that if A is true then B is probably true too, but I don’t agree that A is true.

Maybe it’s true and maybe it isn’t. But there is a reason they call economics “the dismal science.”

Not all Democrats agree with Fair’s rosy assessment of the economy. If they did they wouldn’t be trying to preemptively blame the Republicans for it:

Matt Yglesias had an item the other day that went largely unnoticed, but which I found pretty important.

…I know that tangible improvements in the economy are key to Obama’s re-election chances. And Douglas Hibbs knows that it’s key. And senior administration officials know that its key. So is it so unreasonable to think that Mitch McConnell and John Boehner may also know that it’s key? That rank and file Republicans know that it’s key? McConnell has clarified that his key goal in the Senate is to cause Barack Obama to lose in 2012 which if McConnell understands the situation correctly means doing everything in his power to reduce economic growth. Boehner has distanced himself from this theory, but many members of his caucus may agree with McConnell.

Which is just to say that specifically the White House needs to be prepared not just for rough political tactics from the opposition (what else is new?) but for a true worst case scenario of deliberate economic sabotage.

Budget expert Stan Collender has predicted that Republicans perceive “economic hardship as the path to election glory.” Paul Krugman noted in his column yesterday that Republicans “want the economy to stay weak as long as there’s a Democrat in the White House.”

21 Responses

  1. Special Underwear Makes Your Privates Invisible to TSA Scanners

    Special Underwear Makes Your Privates Invisible to TSA ScannersCitizens, take heart: Even as our country falls under the total domination of our new TSA overlords, capitalism continues unabated. A Colorado man has developed undergarments with special body scanner-blocking fig leafs to hide your privates.

    I get my underwear from Tupperwear. It seals in the freshness.

  2. Is it such a stretch to believe that we as a nation are going backwards when those tasked with giving educated opinion are so so so wrong? How does that economist think the economy will improve when all other factors are staying ther same?


    Hillary 2012

    • What is his theory? Most other economists you read are not offering up any kind of turn-around in the foreseeable future.

  3. When Ivy League economists like this unfortunate one say such spectacularly idiotic stuff, it reinforces the notion the elite are crazy, cut off from reality or really stupid that the public is developing. This goes double for Obama. The little elitist media punks seem to be catching on the the trend also with headlines such as Politico’s this early a.m. View From Mideast: Obama’s A Problem. Yes Obama is a problem in ways that we predicted we one elects a fake constitution scholar who never taught or practice con law, an organizer who agitated but never organized, an orator who reads someone elses lines, and a great Democrat who quotes Ronny Reagan. The depths of self deception by our serious and deep thinkers being revealed are truly amazing.

    • View from Mideast: Obama’s a problem
      By: Ben Smith

      Even those who still believe in the process that Obama has championed view his conduct as a deeply unfunny comedy of errors.

      “He’s like rain,” said a top Israeli official involved in diplomacy with the U.S., speaking of Obama’s role in negotiations. “You can do all kinds of things to cope with it.”

      Obama has resisted advisers’ suggestions that he travel to Israel or speak directly to Israelis as he has to Muslims in Egypt, Turkey, and Indonesia.

      “Israelis really hate Obama’s guts,” said Shmuel Rosner, a columnist for two leading Israeli newspapers. “We used to trust Americans to act like Americans, and this guy is like a European leader.”

      Many senior Israeli leaders have concluded that Hillary Clinton and John McCain were right about Obama’s naivete and inexperience.

      Kuperwasser, like other Israelis, bridled at the suggestion that the country’s dislike of Obama draws from the Muslim influences of his heritage – or even his name.

      “It drives me crazy. Who cares that his middle name is Hussein? It’s the last thing we care about. [To suggest that] is just anti-Semitism,” he said. “There is one reason why we are hesitant about this guy: he doesn’t understand us.”

      Abbas and other Palestinian leaders are “personally fed up with the whole thing,” he said, and “losing faith in the process, both with the Israeli willingness to deliver and the Americans’ ability to deliver the Israelis.”


  4. I flipped past the end of Olbermann the other day. At the end of the show, he noted the number of days since the Republicans regained the House, then asked “where are the jobs?” I honestly don’t know if he was trying to be ironic or if he’s just lost all sense of reality.

  5. I’m not convinced that even a booming economy could save Obama. It would certainly be in his favor, but he’d have to not screw it up. If he were to increase taxes or try to shame American’s into praising him, he would erase any benefits. People tend to favor presidents during economic good times because they’re feeling good about themselves, optimistic. The problem with Obama is that he has this urge to make people feel like crap about themselves and their country. If the economy takes off and he runs around calling people greedy, low information voters, he’s sunk.

    • Honk, honk!

    • I was in a restaurant this week and the TV was on CNN. I couldn’t hear it, but I saw them put up a statistic:

      Obama Approval 47%
      Disapproval 48%

      “The country is divided in half about Obama.”

      Where are they getting these stats? If 28% of Americans do not believe he will be elected, and the recent elections were historically poor for the Party (and clearly a message to O), then what composes this mythical 47%?

      • They only poll those who believe in unicorns. Actually, only 28% believe he will be elected.

      • Those approval numbers are misleading in that the AA voters give Obama almost a 100 percent approval. Without the AA voter, Obama’s numbers are in the mid 30 percent approval.

        • Unless they hugely over sample AA voters, and do a bad correction, that doesn’t make up the difference.

          • I’m not saying that the AA voter is not valid. I’m talking about a group that has a very high approval, for no other reason that they want to support the first black president. Normally one would expect black voters would support a Democratic president in the 60s. The difference between the 60s and the 90s rating is not due to policies, but blind support. White approval of Obama is in the low 30s.

          • I just looked up Obama’s approval excluding the nonwhites. It stands at 37% (it’s one up a little bit). Blacks approval is 89% and the Latino approval is 58%. Total approval is 47%. The nonwhite bumps Obama’s approval by 10%.

            Considering that blacks are hurting more in the current economy, one must question if the support is due to happiness with the president or simply supporting the first black president.

            That was my point. Obama’s approval of 47% cannot be compared to other presidents who had a 47% approval rating.

      • Approval ratings tend to produce higher numbers than who you’ll vote for (esp. when the question is not asked relative to other politicians). Also, it depends who they’re polling — general population, registered voters, likely voters, etc. Was it a media poll? Because there are still media outlets that are buffing the numbers for Obama.

    • “The problem with Obama is that he has this urge to make people feel like crap about themselves and their country.”

      YEP. Generally people don’t like being talked down to or constantly told how bad/evil/stupid they are on a daily basis. Even if the economy improves, people are tired of seeing and hearing his negative ass.

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