Robert Shrum: Forget the noisy declarations about lousy economic news sinking Obama’s re-election. The president is still on track for a second term.
….what will endure after this remarkable week is the emergence of a consensus that Barack Obama could lose next year… First, the unemployment numbers … Second, The Times headlined an analysis, widely repeated, that no incumbent president since FDR has won a second term when unemployment was above 7.2 percent … Third, in the latest Washington Post/ABC poll … nearly 60 percent of people offer a negative verdict on Obama’s stewardship of the economy. Then the clincher: While he defeats most Republicans by a margin of 10 to 17 points, the president is now tied with Mitt Romney….
…..much of the new mood is too instant, too superficial, and too casually ahistorical… …As The Times’ Nate Silver wrote in gently questioning his own paper’s deterministic metric, there is a “maddeningly inexact relationship between unemployment and re-election.”
….the relevant signs suggest that Barack Obama is in a more advantageous position than Ronald Reagan was. In Gallup’s June 1983 numbers, Reagan’s approval was 43 percent; in late May and early June, Obama was five to eight points higher. And of the two presidents in the last four decades who had the highest approval ratings this far out from the election, the first Bush was trounced and the second Bush barely squeaked by. The presidents with middling ratings – Nixon, Reagan, and Clinton – ultimately triumphed; Dole was ahead of Clinton in June of 1995.
…flat earth economics won’t hold with the public if Republicans hold to their present resolve and convert the attractive abstraction of spending cuts into the grim reality of shredding Medicare. There’s the leverage for the president if the GOP refuses to compromise on a reasonable basis – which is probably a remote possibility at best.
…In the week Weiner was roasted, the conventional wisdom included that the 2012 election is not yet baked. But I suspect that by then the economy will finally be seen as moving in the right direction – or that sooner than that, Republican efforts to trash the recovery and repeal the New Deal will become all too transparent and repellant. Either outcome leads to Obama’s second term.
Full article here
Thank you Ladyhawke