Senate [In-Depth Discussion] United States presidential election: 2012

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by kingthlayer, Mar 4, 2011.

  1. kingthlayer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 7, 2003
    star 4
    Quick note: Because of how big of a deal the election probably is, and how active it'll be watched, we'll have two threads operating in parallel. This thread will still be operating under Senate expectations discussing the election. So comparing the exit polls to the results, looking at turnout, and whatever sort of discussion/debate you want to take part in, this'll be the place for it. If you're interested in more of a... whatever the equivalent to liveblogging is on a forum, or sharing the pictures, the videos, the impending memes, and links to breaking news and your quick, immediate responses to that stuff, check out the thread here. Also going on now, lots of prediction maps now.

    Everybody's welcome in both, but this will hopefully allow us to have two discussions, a more in-depth one on broader trends going on in the election, and a more conversational thread as well.
    - Lowbacca_1977
    <HR>

    If 2011 wasn't already hectic enough for you, the coming months are certain to kick it into overdrive. Newt Gingrich officially has an explore 2012 website up and running. He is all but certain to announce his intentions to run over the next month or so, and with that the 2012 election will officially begin.

    There are a bunch of Republicans who are likely to enter the field, each with his or her own niche issue. For a brief overview, lets break it down:

    Top Tier

    Mitt Romney - Former businessman and organizer of the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics, Romney served as governor of Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007 and launched a failed presidential bid in 2008.

    Mike Huckabee - Former governor of Arkansas from 1996 to 2007, Huckabee also launched an unsuccessful presidential run in the last cycle. He has since served as a host for his eponymous Fox news show.

    Sarah Palin - Former Alaska governor from 2006 to 2009 and Vice Presidential candidate in 2008, Palin has since evolved in the Tea Party's heroine. Her endorsements were a blessing and a curse in the 2010 midterms, as they may have hurt the GOP's chance to retake the Senate.

    Newt Gingrich - Former Speaker of the House in the Clinton years, Gingrich is known for his bombastic and confrontational style. He has been a fervent critic of the Obama administration and has spent the past two years courting the Tea Party.

    Promising, but Mid-Level

    Jon Huntsman - The Obama administration's point-man on China and Asian affairs, Huntsman also served as governor of Utah from 2005-2009. Telegenic, well-spoken and a with a thick record on foreign policy, he nevertheless must grapple with his ties to the current administration.

    Mitch Daniels - Governor of Indiana since 2005 and former budget director for the Bush administration, Daniels has presented himself as a competent manager of fiscal issues. He has drawn flack for his desire to call a truce on "social issues".

    Tim Pawlenty - Governor of blue-state Minnesota from 2003-2011, Pawlenty presents himself as a guy who can win over blue collar voters across party lines. He has also recently courted the tea party and released a book.

    Haley Barbour - Governor of Mississippi since 2004, former RNC Chairman and lobbyist Barbour has developed strong ties with the Republican establishment and is likely to be a formidable fundraiser and message man. His recent statements on civil rights have landed him in hot water.

    Longshots

    John Bolton - Known for his bare-knuckle approach to diplomacy, the mustachioed Bolton served as the Bush administration's ambassador to the United Nations from 2005-2006.

    Michelle Bachmann - Three term congresswoman from Minnesota, Bachmann is the founder of the House Tea Party Caucus.

    Rick Santorum - Former Senator of Pennsylvania and, more recently, Fox News contributor, Santorum is widely seen as a social conservative.

    As you can see, we have the whole gamut from moderates, social conservatives, fiscal managers, foreign policy pros, establishment candidates and outsiders. These people are likely to toss many issues out there for debate, including the Obama administration's performance on the world stage, health care reform, energy policy, debt and spending, and issues related to marriage, gay rights and birth control.

    Yet the biggest issue has remained unchanged since the administration's heady early days in 2009:

    The Economy and the Unemployment Rate

    The unemployment rate declined to 8.9% in February 2011, the lowest its been since April 2009, as the economy added 192,000 jobs over the past month. The number is a big change from January's anemic job growth and shows that the recovery is slowly but surely taking hold.

    We know that the unemployment rate will shape the end of the race: if it remains this high in November 2012, then President Obama and the Democrats are in deep trouble. But how will the rate influence the beginning of the race?

    If March and April present strong n
    Last edited by Lowbacca_1977, Nov 4, 2012
  2. DorkmanScott Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6
    Well, if the economy continues on the upswing they'll just say it's because the GOP retook control of the House (regardless of whether or not the timeline makes sense) and reined in the wild spending that they've convinced their base the Obama administration is doing.

    If the economy and unemployment take a dive -- which Boehner is doing his best to engineer, probably for exactly this reason -- then they'll continue blaming Obama and insist they need to get more power in government (MOAR!) in order to bring things back "under control."

    So if things are good, it's because Republicans were elected, imagine how well we'd do with a Republican President. If things are bad, it's because not enough Republicans were elected, so we need to get out the vote and elect a Republican President. Never mind what the problems actually are or how they intend to fix them. We're just going to God flag troops no-Muslim shucks our way back to greatness.
  3. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    If unemployment keeps trending down, I think Obama will get some of the credit. But I agree that the Republicans are trying to engineer an extension to the recession by eviscerating the public sector. And this is happening at the state level too as we've seen in Wisconsin. And locally, school districts around the country are being decimated, streets are going unrepaired, and Republicans at the state level are going to have to take blame for a lot of this.

    People are going to find out whether they're so dead set against tax increases that they're willing to put up with the inconvenience of having their municipal sewage system stop working and experience an 18 month wait list for repairs when a 30 foot sinkhole opens up on the street in their city block. Not to mention schools without any art education or extracurricular activities of any kind.

    The breakdown of municipal and state government sevices is going to send waves of anger up to the national level, and I think it will hurt Republicans most of all.
  4. Raven Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 5, 1998
    star 6
    Why would the Republicans be at fault? Obama is the president presiding over it after all, and that's what it's going to boil down to. From the Republican perspective, the way things are going to be spun, this could have been prevented if Obama hadn't gone out and blown a trillion dollars on a boondoggle health care plan that will help illegal immigrants and hurt honest, hard working Americans. They'll say that the cuts in service wouldn't be so bad if Obama wasn't so hell-bent on raising taxes, and thus generating less income for the government, forcing heavier cuts. They're trot out references to Michelle Obama going to Spain, they'll say Obama wants to unionize Federal employees (which will more than double their salaries, overnight!) and so preemptive cuts are needed, they'll say Obama is a communist who wants the government doing what private enterprise can do better.

    And 40% of America will nod their heads in agreement, 40% will cry out in horror, and 20% will be moved by whichever side screams the loudest.
  5. LtNOWIS Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2005
    star 4
    Just looking at the candidates, I would say that Obama gets re-elected, but the Republicans have a decent shot at taking the Senate. Of course, if they hadn't nominated 2 or 3 crazy, unelectable Tea Party candidates in 2010, then taking back the Senate would be a sure thing this cycle.

    I'd much rather Obama continue to do a decent job and get re-elected, then have the country seriously harmed under his watch, and him be defeated.
  6. Gonk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    Raven is correct. The public at large in America has too much of their own agenda at stake.

    Frankly, even if unemployment went down, he wouldn't get credit for it from a LOT of people. They would either try and sneak in credit to the Republican-controlled house, or they would more likely just forget about unemployment altogether and find something else Obama wasn't doing right and attack him for that.

    If it comes to it, they'll use Libya. And frankly more GOP politicians should be getting behind McCain in preparation for this... and hey, there's probably plenty of time for that, I suppose. And at that point the conservative public will say "did you see how he harmed our interests by doing nothing in Libya?", though they say nothing now (or are consistent with the president).

    It's all about what's available to hit him with. If unemployment remains a problem, that will be used... they'll even say that other stands he takes are 'all right' so it looks like they themselves not so extreme. But if the bottom falls through on the unemployment article they will move to plan 'B' and everything will be totally different come time for the election: all they need is the 2 month period of refocusing the argument.

    Of course, what's stomach-turning is not that the politicians will say this: that's no different from anywhere else. The difference is that the clear majority of the conservative public will say "We always were at war with EastAsia", and go right along with it, as if they were running for office themselves.
  7. Vaderize03 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 1999
    star 5
    Don't forget the spike in energy prices.

    While most of this is rampant speculation in oil futures, rather than true interruptions in supply, the psychology of the situation is very, very powerful. Rising energy costs will have a measurable impact on the recovery, potentially slowing down the pace (which is just now starting to show signs of picking up) just in time for the Republicans to assign blame to Obama and the Democrats (never mind that the GOP is the party of Big Oil).

    Rising oil means rising food prices, as well. It is the one issue that the GOP can not only coalesce around, but will resonate with the American public across all stripes of the political spectrum. If consumer spending and especially, hiring, pull back, then Obama will be sunk.

    Personally, whatever the cut of one's political cloth, I do not want to see America harmed in that manner, especially just to make a political point. Here's to hoping that Moammar steps down sooner rather than later.

    The Saudis could always pump a little more, too.

    Peace,

    V-03
  8. Asterix_of_Gaul Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 13, 2007
    star 5
    Why doesn't Condoleezza Rice run?
  9. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    Barack Obama will be inaugurated for his second term on January 20, 2013. That's my intellectual analysis for the moment.
  10. JediMaster1511 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 15, 2010
    star 9
    To which Obama should reply "Well, I'd like to get involved, but the last time America got involved with that general region our last President planted a boot so far up a country's ass, we have just started to barely pull it out."

    That genral area had mixed feelings to outright hate for America before that happened, and the cards he was dealt for diplomatic situations with most Muslim countires could be equated to a 7-2 offsuit in Texas Hold' Em. That's not his fault, he was playing with a crooked deck against him in this case and if the Republicans do use these unstable situations over there(and they will if available) against him, not only is it unfair, but I believe it would make them a bit hypocritical.

    I mean, I'm no political expert by no mean, but this is just my opinion on that.
  11. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 14, 2001
    star 6
    It takes lots of luck to unseat a sitting President.
  12. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    I find it interesting the way we Americans want to blame our President for everything from natural disasters to the fact that Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny aren't real. And I'm personally not looking forward to another mud-slinging contest and a year of alleged national leaders behaving less maturely than my 3-year-old.

    IOW, I agree that no matter what Obama does or who the GOP candidate is, the focus will be on how evil Obama is and how everything is his fault. And I'm not saying that it was any different in the past. I was no fan of George W. Bush, but I was also appalled at some of the disasters that people pinned on him personally. (Yeah, he waved a wand and let a hurricane hit New Orleans.)

    I heard that Huckabee is the favorite now? If that's the case, I think Obama will handily win re-election. Huckabee would carry many areas of the Bible Belt, but I live in North Carolina and I can think of several counties here that he will not carry. (Heck, the Democratic National Convention is taking place ten minutes from my house.)

    If Huckabee is not the nominee, I think among the candidates listed, Romney or Mitch Daniels, or possibly Gingrich, would be the greatest threat to Obama's chances. Romney ran a very successful business. Daniels, from what I understand, has put himself forth as a fiscal conservative in Indiana but without extremist Tea Party views. Gingrich will be able to pull his own record as Speaker of the House and credit himself for the budget surplus during the Clinton years.
  13. Alpha-Red Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2004
    star 5
    I'll be very surprised if Romney or Daniels is nominated. The way I see it right now, the Republican Party is a creature that is psychologically incapable of compromise or moderation in any form
  14. JMJacenSolo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2006
    star 4
    I don't even like Obama very much, and I would never vote for any of these clowns. Any candidate who possesses any one of the following qualities disqualifies themselves from the Presidency, in my view

    A)Views the turmoil in the Middle East through the lens of biblical prophecy

    B)Has worked for Fox News

    C)Has ever even tacitly approved of the "Birther" conspiracy theory.

    I doubt there will be a single one among the field who doesn't fall into one of these categories, so that's that.
  15. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    A list of the Republican contendors:
    Mike Huckabee
    Mitt Romney
    Newt Gingrich
    Sarah Palin
    Tim Pawlenty
    Mitch Daniels
    Jon Huntsman
    Haley Barbour
    Gary Johnson
    Ron Paul
    Buddy Roemer
    Herman Cain
    Michele Bachmann
    John Bolton
    Rudy Giuliani
    Rick Santorum
    Donald Trump



    To figure out who the Republican nominee will be, we must remember a few things:
    1.) They have to be able to win the GOP primaries, and we must understand the mood of the 2012 Republican primary voters
    2.) To win the GOP primaries, the early states of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Nevada hold a lot more influence than the other states
    3.) In the Republican primary process, it is Winner-Take-All. (ex: if Palin beats Huckabee by 1 point in Iowa, she gets ALL of Iowa's delegates)



    In early 2008, the Republican mood was very disspirited and unexcited, they wanted to run as blue of a Republican as possible, the biggest "maverick" they could find, to have a shot at keeping the presidency after 8 years of Bush. People were looking primarily to Giuliani, who waited until Florida and fizzled out, Romney, who was ganged up on by the others, and McCain. Two things actaully gave Republicans excitement in that presidential election cycle: Huckabee's Iowa upset in January, and then Sarah Palin's VP nomination in late August.

    This time around, especially with the successes in the midterms, the Republicans are much more spirited and excited. They don't only want to win, they want a candidate that will inspire them, their version of Obama. They do not want to compromise, and definitely don't want to find the most moderate and "maverick-y" Republican possible. Many prominent Republicans have already decided to rule themselves out, include John Thune, Chris Christie, Bobby Jindal, Condoleeza Rice, Paul Ryan, and Mike Pence. Leaving us with the list above.



    Now, understanding how the Republican primaries work, and what attitude the 2012 Republican voter is going to have this time around, I think we can eliminate:

    Mike Huckabee
    Mitt Romney
    Newt Gingrich

    Sarah Palin
    Tim Pawlenty
    Mitch Daniels
    Jon Huntsman
    Haley Barbour
    Gary Johnson
    Ron Paul
    Buddy Roemer

    Herman Cain
    Michele Bachmann
    John Bolton
    Rudy Giuliani
    Rick Santorum
    Donald Trump



    My reasoning:
    *Trump, Santorum, Giuliani, Bolton, Bachman, Roemer will probably not be able to win a single primary state and will probably all drop out by February or March of '12.
    *Ron Paul may have some surprise win in a place like New Hampshire, but there's not way he could win more than 2 states, especially under the winner-take-all model the GOP has.
    *I like Huntsman, he has good experience, but he's way too moderate for this cycle, and too close to the Obama administration, he's probably running this time around so he can be treated as a frontrunner in '16
    *I like Daniels, a good fiscal conservative, but I think he's too moderate for this cycle too, not three-dimensional and exciting enough, and his ties to the Bush administration will hurt him.
    *Pawlenty is a dud, who's spent two years running to the far-right and looking completely disgenuous doing so, he'll be in the top 6 but he won't win any state
    *Gingrich might win a few on Super Tuesday, if he stays around that long, but I think what he really wants is to be considered for VP or a Cabinet position. Too much baggage, I just don't think he's capable of winning it all, and I'm not really sure what his base is either, or why exactly he think he's best for the job.
    *Romney. I'm sure this will cause the most disagreements, but I just don't think he's capable of winning the whole thing. He'll probably win New Hampshire and a good handful of states, more than Gingrich, but he still seems phony, still appears too moderate for the Tea Party, you can bet you'll hear mor
  16. Raven Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 5, 1998
    star 6

    As I see things breaking down, we're going to see the Republicans who put religion and morality first squaring off against the ones who put the economy first. Those that vote based on how God wants for them to vote will vote for Huckabee. Those who are earnest about seeing the deficit gone and the debt paid down will vote for Gingrich. Romney will try to position himself as being like Gingrich, but smarter, but his health care plan and other suspiciously progressive skeletons will nix him. Palin will benefit most from vote splitting between the religious voices and the fiscal voices.

    I think that things are most likely to play out like a replay of the 2008 Democrat nomination process, with Palin playing Clinton's roll and Huntsman playing Obama's. That doesn't mean Huntsman will win. I think that Palin is most likely to win.

    I think that of the Republican options, Huntsman is the best from a left wing perspective. It's one of those "I don't necessarily agree with what you have to say, but I believe that you're honest about your belief in it, and that your opinion is based on reason rather than dogma."
  17. kingthlayer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 7, 2003
    star 4
    Raven, as I believe Ghost posted, it is harder for Republicans to match the neck-and-neck, down to the wire race that Obama and Clinton had simply because of the way delegates are allocated to the victor. In Democratic primaries, delegates are split proportionately to the percentage of the vote won. Thats why Obama was able to keep up with, and eventually pass, Clinton in the delagate count: she won big states, but he still would get anywhere from 40-47% of the delegates there anyway. In Republican primaries its winner takes all, which allows someone winning big states the chance to open up a huge lead over everyone else.

    I also don't think Gingrich has the credibility as Mr. Fiscality (making up words is fun) because he ultimately lost the showdown with President Clinton. The widely accepted story nowadays is that Clinton balanced the budget, not Gingrich. Its all perception of course, but as they say.. perception is reality.

    Interesting conclusions, Ghost. As of right now, I am not betting heavily on either of those two going very far just because they don't have the name recognition. The media seems happy to write Cain off as the "pizza mogul" for now. If they can get some good face time in the debates, it is likely to raise their profile. But even though they may be exactly what conservatives want, they are at a serious disadvantage by being so "invisible" to the electorate compared to the other big fish in the pond.
  18. LtNOWIS Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2005
    star 4
    Ugh. In this case, "than" vs. "then" makes a big difference. It should have been "than."

    As valid as all of the "anything can happen, lifetime in politics," mantras are, I'd agree with this analysis. There aren't any really solid GOP contenders, and an H.W. Bush style popularity collapse seems pretty unlikely.

    I'm going to have to disagree with the people saying Romney has no chance. Even if conservatives don't like him, he could still win the nomination. Remember that in 2008, they hated McCain, and would have much preferred Romney. But McCain still won easily enough, because Huckabee, Romney and the rest couldn't deliver. In other words, if nobody else can make it work, than Romney will win by default. I think that's a likely outcome right now. Huckabee probably won't run; that leaves nobody with a good chance of upsetting Romney.

    Also, I think some conservatives were stung by the fact that they blew several statewide elections by nominating unelectable/un-vetted candidates who they thought were more conservative. At least some of them have learned a lesson from that, or are receptive to those arguments. A couple more GOP Senators elected in 2010 would make taking back the Senate in 2012 far easier.

    This plays against Cain. Since he's never held office, a lot of people will simply not see him as a credible candidate. When they see "Governor, Governor, House Speaker, Senator, radio talk show host/business owner" in a list of candidates, they'll mentally disqualify Cain as unworthy of serious consideration. Even gaining traction in the media wouldn't change that, and for good reason IMHO.
  19. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    I have to make a critical correction in my earlier analysis that changes the entire game... for the first time the GOP primaries will NOT be winner-take-all, giving Sarah Palin a clear path to the nomination. :eek:



    Prominent New Hampshire Republican Judd Gregg says that Sarah Palin just might have a clearer path to the Republican presidential nomination next year than commonly understood ? an event he warns would lead to President Obama's clear reelection.

    Gregg, the former senator and governor of the Granite State, says the muddled GOP presidential field means it's more likely than ever there won't be a clear consensus candidate before the party's nominating convention in August of 2012. If that happens, says Gregg, Palin and her army of supporters might have the upper hand when it comes to settling on a presidential candidate.

    "A candidate who runs second or third in a great many primaries could go into the convention with a sizable block of delegates," writes Gregg in an Op-Ed in The Hill newspaper Monday. "Who would this favor? Does Sarah Palin come to mind? Although she is not viewed by most as strong enough to win, she is viewed by many as a person worth voting for to make a statement."

    While it's unlikely Palin (should she run) would win that many primary contests, placing second or third might be enough - especially this time around when delegates will be awarded a proportionate basis instead of the winner-take-all system that has previously been the rule in Republican primaries.

    "Finishing second and third isn't really a big deal ? until you get enough delegates to be the nominee," writes Gregg. "And picking a nominee who it seems would be easily defeated by President Obama might not be the best statement."

    In 2008, Gregg was a supporter of Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who is all-but-certain to run again.


    http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2011/03/14/palin-has-path-to-win-republican-warns/

  20. kingthlayer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 7, 2003
    star 4
    Sacrebleu!

    Frankly, I don't think it makes much of a difference. Sarah Palin's favorability ratings have gotten even worse since Tucson. I doubt she is going to run.
  21. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    That's what I was thinking too (turns out even FOX News was angry with her over the "blood libel" comments after specifically telling her to keep quiet), but I've seen hints that she just might be crazy enough to run.

    If it's neck and neck between Huckabee and Romney the whole way (Huckabee wins Iowa and Romney hardly registers, Romney wins New Hampshire and Huckabee barely registers, etc), but Palin consistently gets 2nd or 3rd, then she could end up with the most delegates or at least enough to be the kingmaker at the GOP national convention.

    I respect Judd Gregg, he might be a Republican but he always came across as objective and honest when he offered political analysis, and being out of office gives him even more opportunity to be honest, and if he's worried about Palin becoming the nominee (and he is worried, he's no Palin fan) then I think Palin-2012 is a real possibility again.

    And we are much more likely to have a really drawn-out GOP primary season too.
  22. Eternity85 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2008
    star 3
    If the Republicans keep up their "creative" Obama trash-campaign they wont get anywhere; when they play on peoples fear to win voters it actually only proves that the Reps view the american people as ignorant and easily manipulated. "Obama is a Muslim and a Socialist" can only be used so many times before they have to come up with something else..
  23. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    The practical issue is that you don't have to look too far back to see what happens when a campaign is based almost exclusively on not being something or someone else. John Kerry should have won in 2004, but didn't. He didn't really figure things out until the campaign reached its closing days, and by then it was too late.
  24. Jedi Merkurian Episode VII Thread-Reaper

    Manager
    Member Since:
    May 25, 2000
    star 6
    Looks like Newt is playing the "redemption" card.:rolleyes:

    As the article points out, it's a lot easier to claim that you've learned your lessons in that arena when you're almost 70 and presumably just not as horny anymore. The big problem I have with Newt is his demonstrated inability to walk his talk.
  25. kingthlayer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 7, 2003
    star 4
    Tim Pawlenty forms presidential exploratory committee

    Did anyone catch his video?

    It starts off decent (though I'm not convinced his childhood experiences make him an expert on economic issues), but then veers off into typical Republican chest-thumping about America's greatness and distrust of big government. At the end of it, I'm not sure what the overall theme was because he seems to try stuffing as much as possible into it. He has said before that he wants to be a candidate for everyone, but isn't it better just to stick with one message? In this case it should be (in order of importance): The economy. The economy. The economy.

    Plus he definitely loses points for pointlessly shoehorning Ronald Reagan into the video.