Recently Barack Obama observed — celebrated is not the word — his first year since taking office. Health care is a basket case. Unemployment is near 10 percent, and stuck. The Federal deficit is $1.5 trillion, and soaring. The Nobel Prize’s darling will never be Rookie of the Year.
The President spurns the term war on terror even as Islamic terrorism kills 13 at Ft. Hood and almost 300 Christmas Day. Aides place a Mao Tse-tung ornament on the White House Christmas tree, hang another bauble of Obama on Mt. Rushmore, and cheer his “good, solid B+” grading on the curve. More objective, nearly 60 percent in a Rasmussen poll give him a C, D, or F.
In response, liberal blogers protest its “stacking” data; whereupon two Democratic pollsters lash their own party’s “unprecedented attack … as chilling to the free exercise of democracy”; at which point every major poll calls Obama the lowest-rated President at the start of his second year. To Ronald Reagan, summitry meant Mikhail Gorbachev. To Obama,it means a beer.
In a year, Obamaland has become a place of bribe and browbeat: Chicago thuggery, meet Potomac Babylon. Only group-thinkers like MSNBC, moveon.org, and The New York Times still love the faux Messiah: actually, group-feel, since today’s Leftist rarely thinks. A friend prematurely says Mother Goose could beat Obama in 2012. Alas, Mother Goose is unavailable. Who might defeat our most radical-ever President?
Sarah Palin is unschooled, but deliciously unboutique. My guess: Fox’s new poster girl will settle for air-time, adoration, and singing We’re In the Money. In 2008, Mike Huckabee mimed Everyman trying to save, buy a home, and educate his children. My hunch: Huck, too, won’t run, fat and happy on his Fox weekend gig. (I will reevaluate if he loses 20 pounds.)
Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty was charismatically-challenged before the term. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana is literally a lightweight pleasantry. Newt Gingrich resembles Banquo’s Ghost. Remaining: the default front-runner, whom Obama has made look good: Massachusetts-by way of-Michigan’s Mitt Romney, gaining by standing still.
In 2007, I wrote that Romney had “changed positions, but not personality.” Same year: “bright, handsome, and less stirring than Lawrence Welk.” 2008: I scored his saying, “When the economy’s bad, buy stocks.” Romney can still sing off-key. What has changed: the time, not man. “The thrill is gone,” Charles Krauthammer mocks Obama. Rarely thrilling, Romney touts performance (deep-down), not pretension (skin-deep).
In March, he will release No Apology: The Case for America’s Greatness, bashing Obama’s groveling for U.S. sin real and feigned. The economy is terra firma: Romney’s business, Olympics, and political career ties verve and skill. Missing is affinity between the working stiff and stiff workaholic. Without it, Romney will not even be the nominee. With, he might be President.
The son of a Governor, Romney is worth $250 million: to some, a Brahmin symbol of out of touch/out to lunch. “Romney embodies the leadership class,” said the Times’s David Brooks. Problem: To win, he must tap tea party fury, not corporate finance. Solution: Build a bridge to the bourgeoisie.
Unlike Obama, Romney would tar ACORN for advising a seeming prostitute and pimp; Army Chief of Staff, saying diversity trumps saving lives; the media, deeming Michael Jackson a celebrity, not child molester. It should be natural for Romney to defend, if not that old-time religion, old-time right v. wrong.
Even liberal — sorry, progressive — parents rue how our culture savages, not saves, children, mocking morality, courtesy, and respect for law. A future column will sketch the wisdom of the enemy (Romney) of Main Street’s enemy (culture) becoming its friend.
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