Time for another periodic 2012 election gut check. This one is more inconclusive than the last.
The 2012 election has all the makings of a kick ass, all out brawl…
- Old media is shadow boxing for Obama. Much of the new media is just getting warmed up to trash old media for bias. The GOP contender means business, and the Superpacs that support him mean even more business. The sitting POTUS’s people are pure Chicago/Alinsky Political Mafia – and this time they have to go there to win. There being the land of overt dirty tricks. The other side will respond in kind.
- NBC and its off spring, CNN, WAPO, NYT, LATimes, ABC, Hollywood, and Soros will be in full on propaganda mode for The One. FOX, Mega PACs, the Koch Bros, Talk Radio, and a thousand of Karl Rove’s children will be out banging the drum for Mittens.
- The fair weather, faux , Facebook libs are back in a groove, but this time red staters are also facebooking and tweeting like there’s no tomorrow. This will be the first election in which both sides are fully armed and engaged on the social networking front.
- Barry’s marriage chat brought in some serious green…but also forced the rightwing firebreathers out in the open. The envelope stuffing, phone banking brigades on both sides are now at the ready.
- The economy isn’t good enough to ensure BHO’s re-election or bad enough to hand the win to Romney. The slightest move could swing the election. A murder of black and brown swans is in the wings warming up…and yet not a one may strut on stage before November. Or they all could. More than a few did last time.
- SCOTUS may humiliate the President in June, while gifting him a perfect way to savage the GOP. Or it may hand him a stunning victory that ensures the middle runs out the door to vote for Romney.
- I suspect many are done with the Barack show, but find taking a shine to Romney difficult to say the least. Both are prone to make campaign mistakes, though we’ll only hear about Romney’s in the old media. New media will tend to Barry’s. Watch for more WAPO “bully” style hit pieces, followed by new media take downs. (Yes, I expect an odd role reversal this year. Obama will rely on old media massaging, but unlike 2008 cannot rely on new media compliance. The GOP has new media armies now….thanks to Dem ineptitude in 2010. )
- Eric Holder will be providing some drama. As will both conventions. As will Europe. And Syria. And who knows what else? Iran? Israel? Iowa? Occupy?
- Biden is a mess, while Romney’s veep pick is a wild card. Rubio? Portman? Christie?
- Does Obama give up on Ohio and North Carolina and look West?
- Does Romney need to spend resources shoring up Arizona of all places? He may have to.
- Will there be a Mormon Effect? (see Bradley Effect)
I cannot remember an election cycle with so much potential for high drama and high jinx. Nor do I remember one in which my gut checks kept coming back with “I have no idea who’ll win.” You’ll just have to believe me when I state that my gut has been correct on every national election since 1976. Including the W versus Gore debacle, when my gut loudly announced - in 1994- that George W Bush would be POTUS.
As for me, I’m leaning toward Rocky Anderson at the moment. The third-party trail is a lonely road but I strongly prefer it at the moment. (I’m interviewing Mr. Anderson at 6pm Pacific Tuesday. Come back here for details.)
Oh, and if you want my gut’s early take on 2016 here it is: President Romney raises the possibility three-fold of a President Clinton in 4 years. Events will head butt whoever wins in 2012. Obama wins, he’ll ruin the Democratic brand for a decade or more. Romney wins he’ll mostly just ruin himself. As for the nation? Ah, well…we’re more or less ruined for the next 4 years no matter which man wins in 2012.