Thursday, June 16, 2011

Obama's Campaign Trajectory: Lincoln to Clinton to Carter to Hoover

There's a fascinating article over at The American Interest by Walter Russell Mead: "Is Carter a Best Case Scenario?" which suggests that if the economy doesn't sharpen up, then Obama can only wish that the worst comparison that will be made about him is of Jimmy Carter. At the rate he's going, says Mead, increasingly Obama's problems with the Great Recession are beinging to look Hooveresque.

"Like Hoover," writes Mead, "President Obama faces the possibility of a devastating second downturn due to economic problems in Europe--and like President Hoover, President Obama can't do much to prevent it. Like Hoover, President Obama is harried by a domestic populist revolt against his leadership and the policies he supports, and like Hoover, President Obama's once unassailable popularity is being slowly ground down by economic bad news."

"Lincoln, Clinton, Carter, Hoover: that is a trajectory no President should want--nor will the country benefit from 18 more months of Presidential subsidence. One hopes the White House realizes just how much trouble it, and we, are in."

Some campaign slogans work better than others. This one for Hoover doesn't seem brilliant, but I guess it worked for him--the first time.

I can think of other former presidents Obama might be channeling.

Remember this one? This was Ford and his "Whip Inflation Now" scheme. Heh.That worked well for him. Snort.

Ford's WIN campaign puts me in mind of the one that I honestly think is hands-down my very favorite: Obama's "Winning the Future" campaign. Wouldn't you like to know what super-smart at ObamaTeam (TM) came up with this one? You can only imagine that he's now working for Biden in a basement office somewhere. Brilliant, Barry. Strangely, we haven't heard too much about the WTF campaign lately from Barry's team. Snort.

And here's another president that I guess Barry Obama might be looking to emulate, since he's been saying these days that a one-term presidency doesn't look so bad to him right now (we're with you there, champ!): Lyndon Johnson didn't run for reelection either. A girl can dream.

Update: And while we're speaking of comparisons and campaigns, there's a good article over at the Weekly Standard by Jay Cost: "Blue Smoke and Mirrors," discussing the dynamics of ObamaTeam (TM) and the 2012 election, where Cost says that the president's "political theater" can do nothing to create the impression that a) the economy is in better shape than it is in; and b) in any event, Obama is not to blame. "If we've learned anything in the last 50 years of the modern campaign, it's that the billion dollar efforts of campaign technocrats, who now dominate our politics, cannot convince people that the sun rises in the west." It's a good article.

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