Over at The New Republic William Galston has a solid post that repeats some of the observations I’ve been making around here on why the 2012 presidential campaign won’t be a rerun of the 2008. He opens:
With the general election now underway, it’s tempting to assume that President Obama has a built-in advantage by having at his disposal a campaign operation that earned universal plaudits in 2008. But as Team Obama itself already knows—or, if not, will soon come to realize—the 2012 contest will be very different from the president’s triumphant march to the White House four years ago. The key question will be how the old campaign staff responds to the new electoral landscape. Here are seven realities that Team Obama will have to adjust to.
The seven reasons he outlines are:
- 2012 will at least in part be a referendum on the last four years of the Obama Administration.
- Rather than promising bipartisanship he’ll need to blame Republicans for Washington’s polarization without alienating moderates and independents.
- “Yes, we can” is probably out as a campaign slogan.
- Young voters are unlikely to turn out in the numbers they did in 2008.
- The president is unlikely to receive as much business support as he did in 2008.
- It will be difficult to simultaneously rally his base and court moderates and independents and he can’t win without both groups.
- The president is at the mercy of whatever happens with an economy over which he has little control
I continue to think it likely that President Obama will be re-elected for reasons that include inertia—Americans tend to re-elect their presidents. But I think it will be a squeaker.