Can Obama defy history?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Grandluxe, Oct 31, 2012.

  1. Hurricane Sandy might be Obama's October surprise, but history still says he'll lose

    Dr Tim Stanley is a historian of the United States.
    By Tim Stanley US politics Last updated: October 31st, 2012

    There is a 74.6 per cent chance that this is the last post I will ever write about polls. I’m sick of talking about them. Elections should be about policy and morality, not data sets and electoral statistics.Now it’s run by geeks like Nate Silver. I’d say there’s about a 98.3 per cent chance that Nate’s a big fan of Star Trek.

    Fast forward to 2012 and Obama is a very weak candidate – almost of Carter proportions. No President since Roosevelt has been re-elected with unemployment above 7.2 per cent. Obama’s figure of 7.8 per cent disguises underemployment and folks dropping out of the labour market because they can’t find work.

    His diplomatic record is mixed at best. Iran is working on its bomb, Egypt is moving towards the dark side and US ambassadors have been killed by terrorists. Of course, the voters have already passed judgment on this chaos when they elected a Republican House in 2010. Momentum has been building behind the GOP for quite a while.

    If I was asked, as a historian, to predict the outcome of next Tuesday on the basis of this information then I would have to imagine Obama losing by a landslide. I would have made the same judgment of Carter in October 1980, even though he was running neck-and-neck with Reagan. You just don’t screw up that badly and get re-elected.On the basis of his economic and diplomatic record, Obama is a failure who ought to lose. I make that statement not as a statistician but from the perspective of what has tended to happen throughout the modern history of America. America is a country that loves success and has limited tolerance for political mediocrity. Just ask Hoover, Ford and Carter what failure does to your chances of re-election.