I’ve said before that I like Mark Halperin’s reporting and I especially love these “clip ‘n save” type pieces. He has been fair in his criticisms and compliments to both campaigns and regularly offers some of the best campaign insights. But this list of 10 reasons Obama’s path to re-election will get easier is absurd. I’ve listed them below with my response:
Team Obama has been energized by the addition of Paul Ryan to the Republican ticket. The White House will try to define the contest all the way through Election Day as a fight over issues it thinks the seven-term Congressman is vulnerable on, such as Medicare, tax cuts for the wealthy and abortion … But there are 10 other factors smoothing the President’s path to re-election:
1 Obama’s incumbency allows him to control the news cycle whenever he wants with resonant gestures like his Aug. 3 move to purchase $170 million worth of meat and fish in drought-stricken agricultural states
– RESPONSE: Government give-aways to buy votes do not appeal to Independents — the only remaining voter group
2 Chicago’s research shop is patiently sitting on potentially distracting information about Mitt Romney, ready to discharge for maximum impact
– RESPONSE: Obama’s slash and burn has already eroded the lone factor buoying him — his likability — this will only hasten that decline
3 Romney plans to release his 2011 tax returns soon, fueling another round of stories about his wealth and investments
– RESPONSE: The GOP line resonates with the public: Voters care more about their own tax returns than Romney’s
4 There are signs that housing, retail sales and other areas of the U.S. economy may be improving
– RESPONSE: Oh lord. Betting on the economy “helping” Obama? He is overwhelmingly viewed negatively on this topic and those anecdotal data points cited don’t and won’t override the “worst recovery ever“
5 For all the Democratic fretting over potential crises in Europe and Iran, both just might stay stable through November
– RESPONSE: The two most unstable geo-political crises “may” not collapse/go to nuclear war over the next three months? That’s a plus?
6 Obama’s nominating convention follows Romney’s, giving the President’s side the last word and the prospect of a bigger, more durable poll bounce
– RESPONSE: This is the incumbency advantage. But has Obama’s shown signs of a galvanizing message that would get voters energized about his campaign? Haven’t seen it yet.
7 The hugely popular Michelle Obama is expected to deliver a winning convention speech
– RESPONSE: Really? The public is going to re-elect a President they dislike on economic matters because they like his wife? Halperin is really stretching now.
8 The 9/11 anniversary will give the Commander in Chief another opportunity to remind the nation that Osama bin Laden was eliminated on his orders
–RESPONSE: Obama has already blown this once with his over-reach claiming credit for the work of the Navy Seals and gross political posturing. Little says he will get it right this time.
9 The Chicago team still has superior internal communication and coordination compared with Boston
– RESPONSE: This is true for nearly every incumbent. And clearly coordinating a failed message is still a failed message.
10 With a big head start and more advanced technology, the Democrats have an edge in identifying and turning out voters on Election Day.
– RESPONSE: Again largely incumbency. This state-of-the-art micro-targeting is what the Obama campaign has claimed to be their ace in the hole from Day 1. This is how they win? I’m skeptical.