Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Obama is the Opposite of Clinton

SO observes the always astute Dick Morris. Obama remains personally popular, but confidence in his policies if fading. Clinton was at times regarded as personally scum, but the voters almost always had confidence in his policy competence. People tend to vote, Dick reminds us, on competence, not character, although it’s always better to have both.

Right now Obama gets a pass because the recession is still blamed on Bush’s incompetence. The president will be in big trouble when the voters can distinguish between the old Bush recession and the new one caused by his gratuitous stimulation and the resulting inflation. Meanwhile, voters are already skeptical enough that Republicans should be doing what they can to undermine the already flagging confidence in the president’s ability to direct health care reform--not in the hope of avoiding reform but to make it more sensible.

But, as Ivan the K remind us, what’s still lacking is Republican leadership. Palin and Letterman are engaged in pro wrestling to revive their flagging careers. I’m not going to repeat my views on the limitations of Newt. Gov. Mitch Daniels is not going to be a national figure. The leadership has to come from a competent and somewhat charismatic members of Congress.

Discussions - 8 Comments

I would observe that during the 1980s, Democrats often argued that according to polls Reagan was personally much more popular than his policies, but that did not help them in 1984. I think that alot of that had to do with the how the questions in the polls were worded, but if the economy is clearly better in 2012 than it is now, and inflation has not yet really bitten into the broad majority's living standards, polls showing that the public thinks Obama spends too much and that the deficit is too big won't be much help to Republicans.

Pete is right that a very likely outcome is that 2012 will look like 1984 or 1936, as a ratification of the regime change accomplished by an popular activist incumbent. We remember, of course, that FDR and Reagan had particularly lame opponents in their reelection bids.

I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss Newt.

Or Mitch Daniels, who unlike most members of Congress has actually done something.

And lay off Palin, Lawler. She's the real deal, and we all learned (the hard way) what happens when you allow the Left to snipe at you without rebuttal.

Was Dick Morris always astute, or only when he became anti-Clinton?

Dick Morris has always been astute, in the mode of Clinton.

I gotta add I like Mitch Daniels, who advises us (with great respect for the huge accomplishments of Reagan) to get beyond the Gipper.

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