GOP Governors a Boost to Obama?

Veteran political analyst Norm Ornstein has a theory, of sorts.   Ornstein wrote Friday in the Washington Post that Republican governors with low approval ratings in key electoral states could help President Barack Obama's reelection chances.  But Ornstein's theory is cracked in a few ways.   

Ornstein suggests, for example, that Ohio voters unhappy with John Kasich (33% approval-56% disapproval) may just takeout their anger toward Kasich by voting to reelect President Obama. 

First, none of the Republican governors - including Kasich - who Ornstein cites for low approval ratings are on their state ballots in 2012.  Rick Scott (Florida), Rick Snyder (Michigan), and Scott Walker (Wisconsin) won't be going before voters next year.  

On the other hand, Mr. Obama's name - along with his Republican rival's name - will top ballots in all fifty states.  Voters can and will discriminate when picking the nation's next chief executive. 

The 2012 presidential contest will be a referendum on Mr. Obama's nearly four-year performance, which centers on his handling of the economy.  Here's what the Post's polling found about perceptions of the national economy:

By 2 to 1, Americans say the country is pretty seriously on the wrong track, and nine in 10 continue to rate the economy in negative terms. Nearly six in 10 say the economy has not started to recover, regardless of what official statistics may say, and most of those who say it has improved rate the recovery as weak.

Just where does the buck stop for the nation's woeful economic performance?  Why, on the desk of President Barack Obama.  The Post reports as well that "Americans' disapproval of how he [Mr. Obama] is handling the nation's economy and the deficit has reached new highs..."

Second, the nation's economy isn't likely to improve between now and the November 2012 elections.  In fact, more than a few economists and economy watchers believe the nation is heading for a second recession - a double-dip, in the vernacular.  How will a limping or failing economy benefit Mr. Obama, who, in true liberal fashion, has thrown tons of money - taxed and borrowed - at the economy in a vain attempt to revive it?

But Ornstein approves of Mr. Obama's "stimulus" attempts, believing like the New York Times' Paul Krugman that Mr. Obama's hyper-spending and government-building exercises haven't gone far enough.  Ornstein writes:

Economic malaise is certainly disastrous for an incumbent, particularly when the best policy to rectify the problems (more stimulus) is off the table and a potentially destructive alternative (sharp budget cuts) is coming alive at precisely the wrong time.    

Ornstein, like his fellow liberals, is ignoring polling that most Americans want government spending sharply reduced and the role of government curtailed.  Voters, it seems, are more in step with Republicans than Democrats on what needs to be done to restart the economy.  Note, too, that Ornstein is planting a seed in the event of an Obama election debacle: without more government spending, doom awaits. 

There's no doubt that the Republican governors who Ornstein cites are having a tough go in popularity trials currently.  But the adage that good policy makes for good politics holds true in these instances.  In fixing the messes caused by their predecessors, Republican governors are facing wary and uncertain citizenries.  But staying the course - as Ronald Reagan did in the early eighties when dealing with Jimmy Carter's economic mess and facing his own low approval ratings - will be rewarded with voter approval ahead.

The 2012 elections are Mr. Obama's to lose, and lose is the direction the President is heading in.

 

     

 

                

Veteran political analyst Norm Ornstein has a theory, of sorts.   Ornstein wrote Friday in the Washington Post that Republican governors with low approval ratings in key electoral states could help President Barack Obama's reelection chances.  But Ornstein's theory is cracked in a few ways.   

Ornstein suggests, for example, that Ohio voters unhappy with John Kasich (33% approval-56% disapproval) may just takeout their anger toward Kasich by voting to reelect President Obama. 

First, none of the Republican governors - including Kasich - who Ornstein cites for low approval ratings are on their state ballots in 2012.  Rick Scott (Florida), Rick Snyder (Michigan), and Scott Walker (Wisconsin) won't be going before voters next year.  

On the other hand, Mr. Obama's name - along with his Republican rival's name - will top ballots in all fifty states.  Voters can and will discriminate when picking the nation's next chief executive. 

The 2012 presidential contest will be a referendum on Mr. Obama's nearly four-year performance, which centers on his handling of the economy.  Here's what the Post's polling found about perceptions of the national economy:

By 2 to 1, Americans say the country is pretty seriously on the wrong track, and nine in 10 continue to rate the economy in negative terms. Nearly six in 10 say the economy has not started to recover, regardless of what official statistics may say, and most of those who say it has improved rate the recovery as weak.

Just where does the buck stop for the nation's woeful economic performance?  Why, on the desk of President Barack Obama.  The Post reports as well that "Americans' disapproval of how he [Mr. Obama] is handling the nation's economy and the deficit has reached new highs..."

Second, the nation's economy isn't likely to improve between now and the November 2012 elections.  In fact, more than a few economists and economy watchers believe the nation is heading for a second recession - a double-dip, in the vernacular.  How will a limping or failing economy benefit Mr. Obama, who, in true liberal fashion, has thrown tons of money - taxed and borrowed - at the economy in a vain attempt to revive it?

But Ornstein approves of Mr. Obama's "stimulus" attempts, believing like the New York Times' Paul Krugman that Mr. Obama's hyper-spending and government-building exercises haven't gone far enough.  Ornstein writes:

Economic malaise is certainly disastrous for an incumbent, particularly when the best policy to rectify the problems (more stimulus) is off the table and a potentially destructive alternative (sharp budget cuts) is coming alive at precisely the wrong time.    

Ornstein, like his fellow liberals, is ignoring polling that most Americans want government spending sharply reduced and the role of government curtailed.  Voters, it seems, are more in step with Republicans than Democrats on what needs to be done to restart the economy.  Note, too, that Ornstein is planting a seed in the event of an Obama election debacle: without more government spending, doom awaits. 

There's no doubt that the Republican governors who Ornstein cites are having a tough go in popularity trials currently.  But the adage that good policy makes for good politics holds true in these instances.  In fixing the messes caused by their predecessors, Republican governors are facing wary and uncertain citizenries.  But staying the course - as Ronald Reagan did in the early eighties when dealing with Jimmy Carter's economic mess and facing his own low approval ratings - will be rewarded with voter approval ahead.

The 2012 elections are Mr. Obama's to lose, and lose is the direction the President is heading in.

 

     

 

                

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