Our next President

by on March 16, 2007 at 11:07 pm in Political Science | Permalink

Dan Drezner says Obama, I'll muster my delusions about political science to say...

…I hate candidate blogging, but here is my neck on the line.  Obama faces too high a chance of self-destruction through scandal, meltdowns, and lack of testing at the national level.  Hillary has too many people who won’t change their mind about her, is too unpopular with suburban Cincinnati housewives, and looks shrill and ugly on TV.  Americans are tired of family dynasties in the White House.  Edwards has the best chance of any Democrat but won’t get the nomination.  Democrats do well when voters’ main concern is the economy, not foreign policy; that won’t be the case.  No matter how badly Iraq goes it helps the Republicans, who benefit from an emphasis on foreign policy, an area where Democrats are never trusted.  It is the Democrats who will tear themselves apart over Iraq, not the Republicans.  The evangelicals hate a Mormon candidate more than an immoral candidate; the latter allows them to stay unified.  McCain looks too old these days, and he peaked too early, so I’ll predict Giuliani as our next President.  Speeding up the primaries will make it harder for the Christian Right to sabotage him.  Rudy has many political negatives, including his name, his home state, and his flamboyant personal history, but all will be neutralized when his opponent is Hillary Clinton.

Don’t expect to hear about this topic again.

joan March 16, 2007 at 11:40 pm

Democrats were trusted on foreign policy before Viet Nam. Will the trust in Republicans on foreign policy survive Iraq, or will the party as a whole be blamed for backing his decisions?

golddog March 17, 2007 at 12:14 am

The Republican party’s blind faith in President Bush, and their failure to even attempt to hold him accountable regarding Iraq will hurt them in the foreign policy sphere.

In many ways Americans choose their next President as a reaction to the old President. One of President Bush’s assets in 2000 was his stable and uneventful personal life in contrast to President Clinton’s personal life. This time I suspect the electorate will be looking for someone who is competent (is well versed in nuances of policy) and who won’t be too partisan or ideological, as these were President Bush’s weak points.

Senator Obama gives off the perception of being highly competent and above crass partisanship; whether he is or is not is another matter.

I say Barack Obama will be our Presient in 2009.

mith March 17, 2007 at 12:36 am

I’m still holding out hope that Ron Paul will start getting enough recognition that he’ll start being mentioned in all of these predictions.

JewishAtheist March 17, 2007 at 1:39 am

Obama faces too high a chance of self-destruction through scandal, meltdowns, and lack of testing at the national level.

I see no reason to believe this is true for Obama more than any other candidate except Hillary, who has been vetted through years of politics.

I think Obama wins in a walk in the general, if he gets the D nomination.

Chris Masse March 17, 2007 at 3:32 am

Take a look at the huge buying of the Giuliani event derivative at TradeSports-InTrade:

The Giuliani manipulator/buyer is back
http://www.midasoracle.org/2007/03/09/the-giuliani-manipulator-buyer-is-back/

Omkar March 17, 2007 at 4:07 am

I think Obama’s lack of experience will start to hurt him much more as the election nears and people start asking searching questions. Sadly, his race will probably be a factor as well; if the race is close, a ~1% racial swing to the Republicans in swing states (which tend to be less multicultural, except Florida) could make a difference.

I’m going to go with Hillary v. Giuliani, with Giuliani coming out on top. I think America wants a competent, seasoned leader – I hear a lot less posturing about how new to politics they are from candidates this time around (save Obama).

Kent Guida March 17, 2007 at 11:06 am

You would be a fool to bet against Tyler on this.

perianwyr March 17, 2007 at 12:10 pm

Obama’s biggest problem is that he is a hard leftist. Every time the mask slips just a little bit, you get a glimpse of a pretty scary dude.

Only because you want to see a scary dude, do you see one.

John Thacker March 17, 2007 at 2:50 pm

Always interesting to speculate on politics. I just hope that the Democratic Party doesn’t decide that fiscal liberal/social conservative is the way to go.

The recent actions of the Minnesota House don’t cheer me up. Democrats (the DFL) take the majority for the first time in a few years, and what do they do? Vote to ban the sale of US flags not made in the USA in Minnesota. The bill passed 83-46, with DFLers for 77-4 with 4 not voting, and Republicans opposing 6-42, with 1 not voting.

Tyrone Slothrop March 17, 2007 at 6:10 pm

Obama faces too high a chance of self-destruction through scandal, meltdowns, and lack of testing at the national level.

“Obama” in the sense of “Guiliani”?

grad March 18, 2007 at 1:45 am

“One of President Bush’s assets in 2000 was his stable and uneventful personal life in contrast to President Clinton’s personal life.”

This is a joke, right?

golddog March 18, 2007 at 9:22 am

“This is a joke, right?”

grad:

I understand that President Bush had an “eventful” personal life when he was younger, but since he became a born again Christian, his personal life has been more stable. While I don’t agree with many of President Bush’s policies, as far as I know, there has never been a hint of him having dalliances outside his marriage and I believe that the American electorate, for better or worse (looking back the past 6 years, I would say worse), gave him credit in 2000 for that.

MJS March 18, 2007 at 8:25 pm

Re. Foreign Policy benefiting GOP:

I think Tyler was referring to Presidential, not off-year, elections. I could be wrong, though. If that is what he meant, I agree.

Iraq was the main issue in ’06. But I think you presume too much when saying Americans overwhelmingly want to get out ASAP. The problem was the competence of how the war was being waged in Iraq, and Bush’s failure to even hint at a change in tactics, if not strategy. Americans certainly don’t seem to be made of quite the same “only thing we have to fear is fear itself” mettle, or even later “bear any burden…” fortitude. Still, we are not THAT fundamentally different for our parents or grandparents generations (I am 28). Americans still have enough of a proud nationalistic streak that, if they think victory if still possible, they will stick it out and heap scorn on those who are perceived as not willing to do so. If victory seems slim to none, on the other hand, we will bug out, but it takes a lot. For example, Vietnam. And, though we finally did bug out, the soul-wrenching hit to American pride (after recovering from a Nixon-induced Carter hangover) was not something Americans were soon to forget. For the first time, the American brand was stained, and America didnt like that.

So, they pick the “happy warrior.” Americans gravitate toward optimists. Obama is the only Dem that fills that bill. But, he is for pulling out. Problem: Dems ineptly handled the politics of withdrawl/defunding/etc., so that they now have the worst of both worlds — things turn around (not great chance, but may be possible) and they were invested in defeat; or things go south and GOP can shift ownership plausibly, even if its only a slight amount, to the Dems for “emboldening the enemy.” Bush would not be the sole owner of the defeat any longer.

Anyway, I could be wrong, of course, we all see events through the prisms of our own biases, but…I think Dems have vastly overstated the mandate they got re. Iraq. Think about it – the Dems call for more troops, they confirm Patraeus unanimously, Bush finally gets rid of Rumsfeld, heeds the calls for more troops in a one last push shot at winning, at least attempts to show he is “changing his plans”…and the Dems seem (or very easily can be made to seem) like they won’t even give it a shot. As PO’d as Americans are about Iraq, they still would prefer a win over a defeat. Dems seem like they arent even willing to give Bush a shot.

If I am correct that ’06 was a call for a change, and a major one at that, in tactics or strategy, but not a call for withdrawl, and if I am correct that if we lose, Dems share somewhat in perceived blame (if we win now, Dems are toast like the Whigs – the Vietnam era Dems will look flag-waving Rambos compared to the current crop)…then GOP still holds the cards on foreign policy.

Couple other considerations: if it’s competence, not the war itself, shouldnt be an issue for the GOP candidate: unless W. can get the Constitution amended again, he is out after ’08. Rudy oozes natnl security competence; Romney is extremely articulate, putting him already light years ahead of Bush in perception of competence; and McCain was the only and first one saying we didnt have enough troops years before anyone else, D or R, said so – McCain may take a hit for being ID’d with the Bush on the war, but he has been criticizing the strategy the whole time, too…seems astute and competent enough to me, or at least plausible.

Also, one other big problem if the Dems do succeed in their withdrawl: the aftermath. As much as many do really want us to bug out now, I think people will sing a different tune when we leave and a few things are certain to happen: MASS MASS genocide, making the horrendous carnage going on now look like a frickin’ day at the beach. We leave quickly, and that happens, Americans will not be able to stomach that kind of slaughter (and a slaughter there will be), and the ones who get the blame will probably be the ones who forced the pull out. Also, as much as people crow about Iran not really being a threat, or a seriosu threat, or being that close to nukes, or even that big a problem with nukes…when they take over Iraq after we leave, when they have no geographic barrier to merging with their buddies in Syria, when they control 40 percent of the world’s oil, when they threaten America daily and to the degree that current threats from Ahmadinijad will seem like he is asking for a kiss, when a likely regional conflagration starts up, most likley involving Saudi Arabia and Iran, when that happens…Americans will not be happy campers. Oh, and they’ll be just peachy when we have to go BACK to the region with even bigger problems.

And, yes, yes, yes, I know…its all George Bush’s fault that we are there in the first place…problem is, you won’t have ole Georgie to kick around any more…

Christopher Prottas March 18, 2007 at 10:17 pm

With all the whisperings and weight loss, I wouldn’t be too surprised to see Al Gore jump into the race in the next 6-8 months (and I certainly didn’t feel that way a year ago…)

Waiting for the Hillary/Obama buzz trains to lose their steam (can’t do 2 years of it) makes a LOT of sense, and Gore could take his momentum all the way to a primary win.

I would hope he would pick up my guy for vp, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson. WOuld balance the ticket off nice.

I think Romney can get over the Mormon thing, but the lack of foreign policy experience will be damaging. Giuliani obviously will get the foreign policy support (despite the fact he has no foreign policy experience either) because of his leadership and tenacity, but we shall see.

liberty March 19, 2007 at 9:24 am

Its too early. The perception is that Giuliani could never make it through the primaries. I don’t know if that is true, but given the perception there will be at least one more (probably a few) additions to the lineup who believe that McCain is disliked, Giuliani too far left and Romney also out(whether because he’s Morman which I don’t see as an issue or because of his atrocious healthcare plan and other leftwing ideas) for the primaries, so they see an opening.

Some possibilities uinclude Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul. Many people would see these two as problematic for the general – Newt because of his broken marriages and possibly his perception as out of the mainstream (?) I don’t know, and Ron Paul probably for being unknown and a congressmen and probably for having some “wacky” ideas. How either of these would do against Hillary, I don’t know.

Likely several more will come out of the woodwork, test the waters and one will stick.

sourcreamus March 19, 2007 at 12:52 pm

Very good analysis, but the last point conflicts with the first point. Obama benefits from a shortened primary season just as Giuliani does.

Caliban Darklock March 19, 2007 at 1:24 pm

I like Barack Obama.

I think he faces several challenges, but I also like him. I think he’s honest, and I like that. I think he wants to do the right thing, and I like that. I think he has few if any back-scratching debts on his history, and I like that. (Some people call that “lack of experience”.)

Occasionally, I hear him say things that are worrisome. But before he started his look into candidacy, he never said anything that scared me. So I think he’s saying these things just to get the Democratic vote, and doesn’t actually believe them.

And I’m okay with that; as a Republican, I’ve always thought it was okay when we lied to Democrats so they’d vote how we wanted. Just like I was okay with Bush bending and twisting things a bit to get the Iraq war through, I’m okay with Obama bending and twisting things a bit to get onto the ticket.

Anonymous March 19, 2007 at 10:47 pm

I think that Obama faces to many challenges. Overall with the candidates that the Democratic party have I think it would be difficult for them to win even though it should be an easy election for them. No one likes Hillary Clinton as a person so that will not go far. Our country needs someone whose politics are in between conservative and liberal.

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brianS March 20, 2007 at 2:05 pm

With California moving its primary up to february 5 (signed into law last thursday), both parties’ nomination races could be truncated dramatically.

the logic for Democratic activists and donors is to winnow the field rapidly during the “invisible primary” season preceding the first actual voting events. But with two relatively strong front-runners in H. Clinton and Obama, the prospects of a contested nominating convention are deliciously apparent.

I could imagine Hillary and Barack slugging it out to a virtual draw in January and February, which could allow an Edwards to limp along and survive until the convention as a third alternative.

If neither Hillary nor Barack can get a knock out win in February, then I think the prez contest is winnable for the Republicans because the Dems would be stabbing each other for months rather than rallying around the “All Republicans are George W. Bush” mantra.

But, by the same token, the Republicans could face a contested nomination with McCain, Guiliani and Romney. Personally, I can’t imagine Guiliani winning the nomination.

If both parties’ nominations go to contested conventions (pleeeeeease!!!! that would rock!), I can’t really see the Democrats losing the general election without a miracle in Iraq in the next 12-15 months.

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