“The gathering storm is the 2010 elections,” one top official said. … The themes for Obama’s campaign are not yet chosen, but a top adviser said not to expect a radical surprise: “He knows who he is.” – Exclusive: White House privately plots 2012 campaign run
Mike Allen’s “exclusive” coming after David Plouffe re-joins the White House is not a surprise to anyone who follows politics closely.
The “gathering storm is the 2010 elections” the foreshadowing of the rough road Republicans will present to Pres. Obama in the re-election campaign, whether they can unite and excite behind one candidate or not. Because even as Obama “knows who he is,” there will be no blush the second time around, as knowing who Obama is and isn’t goes both ways now.
It all really revolves around whether Obama’s opposition can offer something drastically different that isn’t a set of sales points. A qualified independent would have as good a chance as anyone, but there is no hint at a Michael Bloomberg run at the presidency right now, regardless of Howard Wolfson’s presence in his Administration, with Bloomberg having the kind of money it would take to walk into the right’s headwinds, organization and financing, with Wall Street in 2009 tilting towards Republcians, because whether Republicans can beat Obama or not they will amass in large numbers and great fury to try.
The wealthy securities and investment industry, for example, went from giving 2 to 1 to Democrats at the start of 2009 to providing almost half of its donations to Republicans by the end of the year, according to new data compiled for The Washington Post by the Center for Responsive Politics.
Commercial banks and their employees also returned to their traditional tilt in favor of the GOP after a brief dalliance with Democrats, giving nearly twice as much to Republicans during the last three months of 2009, the data show. At the same time, total political donations by the major banks and investment houses alike dropped in the waning months of that year.
Of course, this Wall Street “shift,” as it’s now being deemed also lends Obama a convenient aid, looking like the presidential outsider because he dared to take on the banks, even if he actually didn’t. For people trying to keep food on the table and pay the bills details often don’t matter, as we’ve seen in elections many times before.
The wild card is whether Obama can gather the same enthusiasm on the left for a second run. Will Mitt Romney or someone similar galvanize Democrats? Certainly not like Sarah Palin, whom the left loves to hate. But as of now there is considerably less loyalty and enthusiasm in Obama’s base than there was the first time around, but that can change once Obama’s allies realize that the Republicans will be much worse for their cause, the “coming home” syndrome something all incumbent presidents bet will be in play.
However, as you countdown the states that went for Obama, Virginia, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, which McCain won but Obama made a close race, a very different picture presents itself today. It’s too far out to tell what can happen to rally people around Pres. Obama in 2012, but he’s definitely going to have to campaign for it hard. It’s not going to be anything like Clinton’s re-election in 1996, when Republicans weren’t exactly enamored with Bob Dole, who is a great war hero, but not a very good candidate. It’s going to be tougher than 2008, too, when the voters were pining for change and candidate Obama was the man of the moment. That’s past.
The people have also seen Obama’s “change” and it’s not all that. However, voting often comes down to the lesser of two bad choices. Winning by default because the other guy is worse is still a win.