The media are having fun pushing their narrative that Obama's re-election in 2012 is in serious doubt. The pundits gleefully cite the latest polling figures but do so very selectively. They choose the ones that show that the public thinks the country's in trouble (duh!) and that Obama isn't doing enough. But these pundits pointedly overlook three things.
One of these is Obama's likeablity. The same two major polls that show his job approval rating at less than 50% also show that 70% of American voters "like" him. Yes! An astounding 70%! This is as good as it ever gets for a president. It's pure gold. It's even more impressive given the times we are in.
History teaches us about "likeability". Eisenhower wasn't much of a president. He messed up on an array of issues, from Little Rock desegregation to the fiasco of a downed U2 spy plane in Russia. He was even caught lying about the U2. And he was a terrible speaker. Plus he had a recession on his hands in 1957-58. Also two heart attacks. But the motto "I Like Ike" became an American mantra. People loved the guy with the smile.
Ronald Reagan was a lousy president, though now being unjustifiably revised into a great one. More of his aides were indicted and/or jailed than those of all prior presidents put together. Yes! Even more than in Nixon's Watergate mess. He also ran up bigger deficits than all prior presidents en toto. He raised taxes on the middle class. His administration failed to perceive that the USSR was tottering and instead pushed ever-greater military spending, including the idiotic Star Wars defense. He also was a divider, not a uniter, ceaselessly speaking the code words for racism so as to cement the anti-black "Southern strategy" begun by Richard Nixon. But people loved him. Even when polls showed that Americans did NOT agree with his policies, the same polls showed people liked him anyway. That guy with the smile.
Obama's got a better smile than Ike and Reagan put together. Do voters feel that's enough to re-elect a president? Quite possibly, especially one who is also smarter than Ike and Reagan. History suggests that Americans want someone in charge that they FEEL good about. The darker the skies, the more they need that element. And people are fair. A majority still blame the Great Recession on GW.
A second factor studiously ignored by the pundits is that people don't like the Tea Party. A big majority don't, and this number has been growing throughout this year. At the same time, the explosion of Rick Perry into the GOP nomination fight has shoved the GOP even further to the right, causing even poor old Nicked Romney to blather blatant pandering to the TPers. Only Huntsman is a hold-out against this extremism, and he's been rewarded with a 1% in the polling of GOP voters.
A third factor the pundits ignore is that you can't beat somebody with nobody. Obama is certainly a somebody, a formidable somebody with that 70% likeability rating. Meanwhile, the GOP still have nobody. Perry's mercurial rise shows how even the GOP voters realize that they don't have a candidate. Without time to learn anything about him, in just a matter of days after his announcement, they pushed him ahead of front-runner Romney by almost 2 to 1 in the polls. Man, that's pure panic!
So far, the election is Obama's to lose. Can the Democrats find a way to lose? You betcha! The left is working at it ceaselessly, bless their little pointy heads! With friends on the left like Maxine "The Mouth" Waters and egoists Robert Reich and Paul Krugman, Obama doesn't need any enemies. But that's another story for another day.
For now, keep on smiling, Barry O' ! We LIKE you! And in 2012 that's gold that's worth more than $1880 an ounce.