Precisely because he’s not Mr. Cool, the self-regarding incumbent and caudillo wannabe.
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I predicted in this column the 2010 Tea Party landslide a year and a half before it happened! You can go look that up. I am now predicting a Romney-Rubio ticket would beat Obama by more than 10 points. That is based on the precedent of the Reagan-Carter 1980 race. Obama has been on a worse trajectory than Carter since 2009. Obama’s polls versus Romney are already much worse than Carter versus Reagan at this point in 1980. But I picked the actual 1980 election result state by state in the summer of 1980 when the polls had Reagan losing by high double digits. My prediction for this year’s race is no longer so far ahead of the curve already. Dick Morris is also predicting a 10 point win for Romney.
But even with 41 percent of the vote going to Obama, which is the same final percentage that Carter got, and what I am predicting for this year, that would still be a sad result for America. That 40 percent of America would vote for such an openly far left extremist as Obama, after a whole term of experience with him, and be fooled by Obama’s cheap, transparently false and dishonest, Latin caudillo rhetoric, means we will still be a nation in trouble even after such a sweeping victory by the conservative party. You can take the percentage of the vote going to Obama as a dangerous infection of the body politic by lethal Marxist or at least neo-Marxist antibodies. Can America survive with such a high percentage of the voting public, albeit a distinct minority basically nuts?
But I have to inject at this point an endorsement of Bret Stephens’ May 1 Wall Street Journal column on the Veep sweepstakes, “Anyone But Condi.” He addresses there the floated name of Condoleezza Rice for Romney’s VP. Stephens notes, “A mid-April CNN poll finds that former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has unmatched name recognition and a favorable rating of 80% among GOP voters. She’s also the person Republicans would most like to see on the ticket.”
But Stephens goes on to accurately describe the problem:
Ms. Rice was a bad national security adviser and a bad secretary of state. She was on the wrong side of some of the administration’s biggest internal policy fights. She had a tendency to flip-flop when it came to the president’s core priorities and her political misjudgment more than once cost Mr. Bush dearly. She was a muddler of differences at the national security council. Her tenure at State was notable mainly for the degree to which the bureaucracy ran her, not the other way around.
Among her blunders was the 2006 Iraq Study Commission which brought Jim Baker back to advocate yet another strategic surrender to the Left; the Bush Administration’s strange Jimmy Carter style cave-in to North Korea’s nuclear program (lifting key sanctions “in return for exactly nothing”); her mishandling of the notorious 16 words in Bush’s 2003 State of the Union, giving life to the narrative that Bush lied about the intelligence; the premature ceasefire between Israel and Lebanon that allowed Hezbollah to declare victory; and opposition to a U.S. attack on the nuclear reactor North Korea had built in Syria, leaving Israel to do the job. In other words, she was at best a confused liberal academic behind the scenes that never got anything right, not a second coming of Jeane Kirkpatrick.
She won’t bring any black votes to the ticket, and may alienate the base as the truth comes out enough to boot the whole election. Leave her in the pasture at Stanford.
Is This Cool?
While Romney is quite cool for conservatives, Obama’s gross mishandling of the anniversary of the killing of Bin Laden indicates his potential to tarnish his cool even to liberals by Election Day. Obama made the killing of Bin Laden all about Obama in a classless display of uncool, nerd-like misjudgment. We heard all about the great courage showed by Obama from the safety of Washington, D.C., where only his political bacon was at stake, while the killing of Bin Laden was actually due to the great courage showed by the Navy SEALs in their perfect execution of one of the most daring raids in world history, risking their very lives on the ground in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
After rising politically by assailing Bush’s intelligence policies in the harshest possible terms as illegal war crimes, he was more than happy to take credit for the results of those policies, which led American intelligence to locate Bin Laden so he could be killed. Never even the slightest tip of the hat from Obama to Bush for his actually more central role in the ultimate killing of Bin Laden.
Also in the May 1 Wall Street Journal, former Attorney General and federal judge Michael Mukasey notes Lincoln’s grace right after Robert E. Lee’s surrender taking no credit for himself, but noting the bravery of those who risked and lost their lives for their country, then focusing straight away on reconstruction and the civil rights of liberated blacks. He notes Eisenhower’s address once the success of the Normandy invasion was established. Again taking no credit for himself for the invasion he led, Eisenhower addressed the troops who had actually risked their lives instead, saying, “One week ago this morning there was established through your coordinated efforts our first foothold in northwestern Europe. High as was my preinvasion confidence in your courage, skill and effectiveness…your accomplishments…have exceeded my brightest hopes.” He mentioned himself only to personally congratulate the troops, saying, “I truly congratulate you upon a brilliantly successful beginning…. Liberty loving people everywhere would today like to join me in saying to you I am proud of you.”
Mukasey noted as well George Bush’s address after the capture of Saddam Hussein, in which Bush again took no credit for himself, but attributed the victory to “the superb work of intelligence analysts who found the dictator’s footprints in a vast country. The operation was carried out with skill and precision by a brave fighting force. Our servicemen and women and our coalition allies have faced many dangers…. Their work continues and so do the risks.” Bush again only mentioned himself to personally congratulate the those who had actually demonstrated the courage, “Today, on behalf of the nation, I thank the members of our Armed Forces and I congratulate them.”
Obama, in sharp contrast, explained the killing of Bin Laden to the nation like this:
I directed Leon Panetta, the director of the CIA, to make the killing of Bin Laden the top priority… even as I continued our broader effort….Then after years of painstaking work by my intelligence community I was briefed…. I met repeatedly with my national security team….And finally last week I determined that I had enough intelligence to take action…. Today at my direction….
Mukasey observed that it was hard to imagine Lincoln or Eisenhower taking credit for the heroic actions of others.
Was Obama’s crass obtuseness in this event cool? It took a caller to a Washington radio station to cut to the full truth of the matter: Obama was responsible for the killing of Bin Laden the same way Richard Nixon was responsible for America landing on the moon.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?