Republicans face the reality check: Obama hard to beat

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

WASHINGTON - Republicans in the United States have been given a reality check about the 2012 elections in that President Barack Obama will be a lot tougher to defeat this year as compared to last year.

Former George W. Bush adviser Karl Rove said: “I consider him a favorite, albeit a slight favorite”, “Republicans underestimate President Obama at their own peril.”

Much of the GOP realism is rooted in a long-standing truism of American politics - that absent a major crisis of confidence, it’s highly difficult to defeat a sitting president.

But Republicans are fretting about the strength of Obama’s campaign infrastructure, the limitations of their own field and especially the demographic weaknesses that haunted them in 2008.

According to many senior Republicans is not that Obama is a sure bet or that the GOP nomination is not worth having, most of them believe that 2012 will be a more competitive year than 2008 and the White House can still be won.

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee said during an interview, “The people that are sitting around saying, ‘He’s definitely going to be a one-term president. It’s going to be easy to take him out,’ they’re obviously political illiterates, political idiots, let me be blunt.”

He said: “You just don’t go against a billion-dollar mountain of money, a guy who’s already won the presidency once, but he gets to fly in on Air Force One and make all his campaign stops with the trappings of the office.”

Others pointed towards Obama’s response to what the president himself called the midterm “shellacking.”

Dakota Senator John Thune, said that he wouldn’t seek the GOP nomination next year, praised Obama as a “very shrewd politician”and pointed out that the president had moved the middle by supporting the extension of the Bush-era tax cuts.

He said: “As I observed his response and reaction to the midterm election, that was all part of my assessment of the landscape”, “Any incumbent is a tough race, and he’s no exception. I think he’s got plenty of vulnerabilities, but I also observed how adept politically he was.”

he US representative Tom Cole said: “The electorate will look much different in 2012 than it did in 2010, It’s going to be younger, browner, and more to the left”, the Politico reported.

He said that if Obama does win he would likely break from recent historical precedent by getting re-elected with a narrower margin than what he first received upon winning the White House.

Whit Ayers, President of the American Association of Political Consultants said that the most discouraging piece of data for the party ahead of 2012 is the GOP’s difficulty with Hispanic voters.

He said: “If we lose the fastest-growing, largest minority group like we lost them in 2008, it’s going to be pretty tough in places like Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada and Arizona,”

However, Ayres and other republicans pointed that there are certain factors in their favour, such as sustained joblessness and the sense among voters that the country is on the wrong track.

Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour said that Obama was beatable simply because of his record. There is a distinction between how voters view the president personally and how they view his policies.

“Americans recognize bad policy that has yielded bad results”, said Barbour in an interview.

He also added: “Incumbent presidents don’t lose very often, particularly if it’s a president who has taken over from the other party.” (ANI)

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