By Scott Williams
Communicatons Director, 5th District Democrats
For months, political headlines across the country have told the same story: Republicans are fighting among themselves to find a strong leader. As their third primary nears, it looks like they have decided on former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney – a party player without an ounce of charisma whose main attribute is the ability to shift positions to fit the moment.
Meanwhile, President Obama is gearing up for the 2012 elections. He’s beginning to try out his best political hat – his ability to stir up crowds and mount a strong campaign. While there’s lots of time before next November, here’s my take on the reasons why Democrats will win the election:
1/ MISFIT MITT: The Republican Party does not have a viable candidate to go up against Barak Obama in 2012. Are Newt (“The Brute”) Gingrich and “Misfit” Mitt Romney really the best they can come up with? Even uberconservative columnist Ann Coulter has said the party will lose with Romney at the helm. And Gingrich? He’s your mean old uncle, the politician everyone loves to hate.
2/ LOOKING UP: Economy is slowly, but surely, turning around. The key economic metric – unemployment – has turned down. Many observers would agree that the Obama Administration’s early efforts to halt the recession’s downward spiral by throwing $700 billion at the problem were feeble at best. Recall, however, that that figure was as much as Congress permitted. It stopped the hemorrhaging, at least.
3/ WHO’S ON FIRST? It’s all about image. Which party looks Presidential? For months, the Republican Party image is one of a car-full of clowns, each taking a turn on the roof before falling off. Political image-making during a Presidential campaign is a delicate affair. There’s nothing an out-of-power party needs less than a comedy act defining how voters perceive its ability to run the country.
4/ LOOKING GOOD: The American public is gradually realizing that the worst is over, and that Obama’s policies are, in fact, working. A year-end Associated Press poll showed that two thirds of Americans expect 2012 to be better than 2011. Optimism, particularly new optimism, works in the favor of an incumbent.
5/ THE PARTY’S OVER: The Tea Party, which by default has driven Republican Party policies since 2010, has lost much of its backbone after its devastating position on the payroll tax. The battle may have cost Republicans their leader in the House some serious political capital, and Tea Partiers across the country no longer have the clout the used to.
6/ BULLY PULPIT: Obama is finally stepping up. Emboldened by his victory in Congress on the payroll tax, the President is learning to use Teddy Roosevelt’s Bully Pulpit to accomplish Democratic goals.
7/ IT’S ALL ABOUT THE MONEY: Obama has already raised more than the eight remaining Republicans combined, according to the Federal Election Commission. And he really doesn’t need to spend much of it, yet. What will election coffers look like come August and September, when things really heat up?
8/ STYLE MATTERS: When the fighting gets tough on the campaign trail, who would you want on the podium leading your party? A dynamo like Obama or a wet mop like Romney? None of the Republicans can wow a crowd like Obama.
9/ SCANDALOUS: Sooner or later the conservative wing of the Republican Party, with its family-comes-first, neo-Puritan philosophy will realize that most of its leaders have violated these principles and have no stronger morals than anybody else.
10/ THE MESSAGE: The Republican Party in November will probably stick to its well-worn message, beaten into voters’ tired brains since 2010 election, that anything Obama does is bad. The problem is that, by then, the American electorate will have had enough of their tired old saw. They will be ready for change – away from the broken politics brought on by the right wing and back to the positive, realistic proposals made by Democrats.