Obama's Biggest Problem: Europe, Not GOP
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  • ms

    “They will also make it easier for Republicans to frame the election as a choice between Obama’s adherence to a “failed European model” and the red blooded American capitalism that Republicans love.”

    I am a little confused. Isn’t this blog always making the point that the blue state model is dying. It seems to me that if Republicans are making this case, it’s because they are framing reality. The European welfare state model HAS failed and the blue state model is rapidly failing everywhere in this country. Sensible alternatives DO involve reduced federal government and growth through reasonable capitalism. Even the Chinese know the part about growth through capitalism!

    Heretofore I have admired your refusal to become mired in the circus of primary politics. I agree that following the daily stories and the ups and downs of the process is tedious and meaningless in the long run. It therefore seems odd to me to blithely dismiss the Republican candidates as no match for Obama.

    I will not deny that the primary process is messy and unappealing, but I must disagree with your analysis of the field. Any of them would be an improvement over Obama. Romney especially seems like the adult in the room compared to Obama, who more often than not behaves like a petulant teenager.

    • Walter Russell Mead

      My point isn’t about the qualities of the candidates in themselves; it is about their evident failure to gain and hold public support. Bachmann, Perry and now perhaps Cain: they rise like rockets and fall much the same way — and that is among Republicans. The White House cannot help but be encouraged by watching this.

  • Kenny

    ” That means that President Obama’s grip on the White House may largely be up to Merkel and Sarkozy; if they can keep Europe afloat, they will save President Obama as well as the Greeks.”

    So …. does this mean Obama will use U.S. taxpayer money to help the EU kick their PIIGS can down the road until after 2012??

  • ms

    Steady state for Romney, however.

  • Toni

    “The more voters, even Republican voters, learn about the candidates jostling for the party’s nod, the less they like them. The more the President’s opponents campaign, the stronger the White House becomes.”

    This is 100% opinion and probably 80% wishful thinking. Today’s WSJ contains some counter-opining, “The Republicans’ Rising Satisfaction Quotient,” based on actual survey responses.

    “Since NBC began asking the question in 1989, no president has won re-election with as many Americans—74%—saying a year before the election that the country is “on the wrong track.” Nor has any president been re-elected with so few Americans—13%—telling Gallup that they are “satisfied” with how things are going in the country. And no president has been re-elected a year after having a job-approval rating as low as Mr. Obama’s is today—43%—since Gallup began asking the question in 1945.

    “Since 1952, consumer-confidence numbers have been higher at this point even for presidents who failed to win re-election than they are for Mr. Obama today. He is presiding over an economy that registered a 60.9 rating in last month’s University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment report.

    “It’s unlikely that positive economic news will alter these numbers dramatically before next November. Through 2012, the Congressional Budget Office, the Federal Reserve and even the White House Office of Management and Budget all forecast unemployment around the current level of 9.1% and anemic growth of between 2% and 2.7%.”

    Even in the best scenario, Merkel and Sarkozy are unlike to rescue Obama from 9% unemployment and rampant pessimism about the country’s future (“the wrong path”).

    The rest is at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203804204577014102546447814.html

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