By Lee Cole–
Republicans have made it clear that defeating Barack Obama is of paramount importance. Whether they end up having to throw their support behind someone as trite and boring as Mitt Romney or someone as frighteningly George Bush-like as the two Ricks, conservatives around the nation have made it their mission to crush Obama by whatever means necessary. He’s had shortcomings undoubtedly, but why such emphasis on beating Obama, no matter who the Republican candidate turns out to be? It has been said again and again “any one of the Republican candidates would be better than Barack Obama.” Perhaps the question is whether any one of the Republican candidates will have the chance to prove it.
As things stand now, I can see very few scenarios in which Barack Obama is not reelected to a second term. There are two separate questions at hand here: if Obama deserves to be reelected and whether or not his campaign will be able to secure reelection. But these questions are interwoven and we must look at both to see why Obama will almost certainly win a second term.
First of all, Obama couldn’t have asked for a better field of Republican candidates. Ron Paul, while a favorite among libertarians, is too radical to be elected and will never be supported by moderates. Gingrich is a clown who hasn’t taken his campaign seriously and will most likely drop out any day now (maybe by the time this article comes out). Although his candidacy gained some momentum with his South Carolina win.
Bachmann is a bona fide religious loony who thinks homosexuality should be “corrected” and whose vision for America is strikingly theocratic. She’s in the same un-electability boat as Paul. The two Ricks – Santorum and Perry – don’t stand a chance either. Perry is too much like George Bush’s younger brother. He’s more willing to execute human beings, yet is somehow pro-life. He’s also, like Bush, verbally challenged. Thank God he dropped out of the race last week and the threat of President Perry is no more.
The name Santorum speaks for itself (Google his name to find out more about his frothy, bubbly personality).
Then there is the Romney factor. It’s as though humankind, in some distant, technologically advanced future society realized that the election of Barack Obama leads to some previously unforeseen catastrophe, and so to thwart disaster, they designed a perfect presidential android, the “Mitt” prototype, to go back in time and defeat Obama so that future generations may prosper. Basically, it’s the plot of “Terminator,” substituting Obama for John Conner. Romney is so perfectly presidential, with his flawlessly coiffed hair and his ready-made responses to questions, that it seems inevitable that he will receive the nomination. But it may be the fact that he’s so perfect it will end up ruining his chances. There’s something uncannily robotic about his gestures and his personality. People get the sense that he will say whatever they want to hear to get elected; after all, he has convinced many that he’s a staunch conservative when he spent most of his career in Massachusetts as a social liberal. Anytime he gets a question on abortion or his Massachusetts healthcare model, one expects his eyes to roll back and for him to say “does not compute” just before his head explodes in a shower of circuits, wires and computer modules.
Even if the futuristic “Mitt” prototype is unlikeable, it doesn’t follow that the public’s dislike of Obama won’t outweigh the creepy sense that he might not be human. In other words, Obama might be so hated that Americans would be willing to elect a machine-like humanoid replica rather over him.
What hasn’t been considered thus far, however, is that Obama will have the chance very soon to make his case to the American public. Furthermore, he knows what he’s doing and is surrounded by the same people (primarily David Axelrod) who waged the most successful campaign in American history just four years ago. The primary criticism of Obama in 2008 by John McCain was that he would be inexperienced when it comes to foreign policy. Obama has effectively made this criticism moot with the killing of Osama bin Laden and 17 other high ranking Al Qaida members. The battle for the presidency will be primarily ideological, and the economy and healthcare will play important roles in the debate. Obama must effectively make the case that the economic crisis came as a result of reverberations from the Bush administration’s policies and that it may take a while to see results. If he manages to do so and unemployment doesn’t go up any higher, we can expect another four years of Obama.
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