President Obama – A One Term President?

Former Vice President Richard “Dick” Cheney thinks that President Obama is going to be a one term president.  In an interview to air today on NBC’s Today Show, Cheney will apparently cite the following reasons for his prognostication: Obama’s “overall approach to expanding the size of government, expanding the deficit, and giving more and more authority and power to the government over the private sector.”

Well, if that causes electoral defeat, then how did Dick and his partner George W. Bush get a second term!?!  Perhaps such policies only hurt Democrats?! 

If I had to guess (or bet), I’d put my money on Obama winning a second term.  With a Republican House, there will be no new expensive government programs (not because Republicans don’t like them, of course).  That fact – which will provide a more stable business environment – in addition to the normal business cycle turning up will mean that Obama is likely to be blessed with many consecutive quarters of positive economic growth leading up to the election — a key bellweather of incumbent electoral success.  I don’t see any big changes in foreign policy either unless Obama gets stupid and attacks Iran (a la David Broder).  Problems in Afghanistan (and Iraq) would be trouble for a Republican candidate but where are the doves and moderates in his own party and the center going to go?  Moreover, can you imagine Republicans blaming Obama for the foreign policies they’ve supported (the increase in troops in Afghanistan, COIN a la P4, etc) and getting any electoral traction?

Of course, November 2012 is a long way off and a lot could happen.  This is especially the case in foreign affairs given that much is outside of the control of Washington (it may come as a surprise to the uniparty foreign policy crowd in BOS-NY-WASH to hear that this is the case).  Moreover, I might be underrating public anger and memory of ObamaCare.  And maybe ObamaCare and our other domestic budget problems (not to mention spillover problems from budget problems in foreign countries) will dampen the normal uptick we would expect to see coming out of a recession.  If we are looking at a Japanese economy rather than a typical American one, then maybe Obama will be ripe for the picking.  But that also assumes the Republicans pick a competent candidate – something one is best not assuming given Dole in 1996 and McCain in 2008 (not to mention W in 2000). 

So, put your money on Obama to win a second term despite Cheney’s prediction.  But I reserve the right to change my mind as we get closer.  And I think Mitch Daniels would be a formidable candidate should even some of the problems noted above occur.  More on that soon…..

4 thoughts on “President Obama – A One Term President?

  1. I agree; if I had to put money down, I’d say he’ll get a second term, but it’s still very early.

    On the flip side I think people take Palin too seriously. If I had to put money down I’d say she won’t go past the primary phase.

  2. I am full of agreement as well. Presidential elections are zero-sum and I simply do not (yet) see anyone on the Republican side of the ticket that can unseat Obama. Bush won twice because of who he ran against, I think Obama has the same advantage. The odds are also good that the economy will be better at the time of the 2012 election than it is now – not good enough for Obama to claim any sort of victory (although he may) but certainly good enough that it will not be a negative.

    As you say, there is a long way to go from here to there and anything can happen, which, of course, makes it interesting to follow.

  3. The odds seem good for the Republicans running somebody who can’t win (e.g. Romney). The major debt restructuring happens in 2013, so probably there won’t be a real currency crisis before November 2012. Clinton and Truman survived after similar mid-term losses.

    1. Indeed, the Republicans track record doing so is pretty stellar of late! I think Romney will get beat solidly by Obama – especially since he won’t be able to flank the President on healthcare given RomneyCare in Massachusetts.

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