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Six reasons why Obama will win re-election

MinnPost photo by James Nord
President Obama's rhetorical skills will help him engage with voters.

Prognosticators of the coming elections have many good arguments as to why former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney will be our next president. Clearly he has incredibly huge funding. He will benefit from certain groups’ ongoing, aggressive dislike for President Barack Obama. And he has the stumbling economy, which seems to get only incrementally better as the election approaches. 

But despite all that, there are at least six good reasons why Obama will be re-elected (or more accurately, why Romney will lose):

1. Romney, to gain the GOP nomination, essentially sold his political “soul” to the right wing of his party. On issue after issue he pandered to the right to “prove” his fidelity to their beloved causes. Thus, on such issues as immigration, gun control, abortion, smaller government, less taxes (especially on the wealthy) and virtually every other major issue, he is now wedded to the right. But his largest concession was his abandonment of his own Massachusetts health-care plan, and one he is having trouble explaining. Moreover, the right wing in America today is really on the fringe of political thinking; moderation is much more an American preference. How Romney can unhitch himself from the far right will be difficult, and probably impossible.

2. Regarding the issues, several that Romney now espouses are not popular with key voting segments. Among those his position on immigration, which is offending Hispanic voters; and his inability to gain any traction with other minorities (notably blacks and Muslims). His total refutation of the Affordable Care Act is not going to be popular with most Americans once they learn how some parts (already in operation) will affect them. Finally, his loyalty to the wealthy on tax issues is definitely not a popular stance with voters, most of who feel the wealthy are being given unnecessary and unneeded advantages when it comes to paying a fairer share.

3. Also in regard to his new-found fidelity to the right, Romney now presides over a fragmented and poorly unified party.  This will not deter Republicans of all stripes from voting for him, but it may diminish their enthusiasm in the electoral process. The right is still suspicious of Romney, despite his continued pledges of loyalty. But that turns off moderates, who feel their voices are no longer heard in the party. The upcoming party conventions represent the unity that resides in each party. Former President George W. Bush will be absent from the Republican gathering; former President Bill Clinton will headline the Democratic convention. Additionally, while Romney’s funding has come in massive amounts from a limited number of wealthy donors (unlike Obama’s), small contributions seem lacking. This seems to indicate wide, but shallow party support for his candidacy.

4. Romney has shown a surprising aptitude for committing gaffes and errors – especially in nonscripted venues.  As a matter of fact, in his trip to England and Israel he lurched from “explaining” his position on the Brits’ Olympic preparation to his apparent hostile view of the Palestinians (hardly a template for future negotiations), and expressing his unqualified view of a possible Israeli strike at Iran. All of which he has walked back. These add to numerous other statements going well back to the primaries. His most telling gaffe then was his on-camera $10,000 “bet” with Texas Gov. Rick Perry. It said volumes about his background and mindset.

5. This brings us to the heavy baggage Romney carries into the election. His wealth alone is not necessarily a deterrent to winning, but his claims of “creating jobs” while at Bain have been mitigated by the facts. Additionally, his nondisclosed bank accounts, — presumably in Switzerland, the Caymans and elsewhere — are raising eyebrows, even among Republican supporters. This is exacerbated by his refusal to open more tax returns. Why his reluctance? We don’t know, but voters can probably assume why he objects. Beyond that, Romney has clearly lived a life virtually no American can even imagine, let alone identify with. That cannot be an asset.

6. Finally, and the biggest reason Obama will win, are the three October debates in which the two candidates will engage. That brings into play virtually all the aforementioned reasons: Romney’s alliance with the right wing of his party; his true results while at Bain; several of his less-than-popular stands on the issues; his propensity for gaffes; and his lack of transparency on his taxes (and potential off shore holdings). All will come into focus with a skilled moderator in the debates; and all will be difficult for Romney to explain on highly watched prime-time venues. Adding to this are the skills and confidence Obama has in the debate arena.

No doubt, this election will be won by a razor-thin margin – the polls show that already. There is not much potential for movement (the undecideds are already just a fraction of likely voters), so incremental movements — especially in the last days of the campaign — will decide the outcome.

Like a good horse race, the race for the presidency likely will be decided down the home stretch. Given that, I see Obama winning by a nose.

Myles Spicer of Minnetonka has spent his business career as a professional writer and owned several successful ad agencies over the past 45 years.


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Comments (43)

  1. Submitted by Richard Schulze on 08/08/2012 - 07:00 am.

    I look at the economy and I think there’s no way that Obama can be re-elected.
    And then I look at Mitt Romney and think there’s no way Obama can lose.

  2. Submitted by Tim Walker on 08/08/2012 - 07:36 am.

    Voter ID is he wild card

    Yabbut, the 5 million eligible voters who will be denied their Constitutional right to vote this November will erase any razor-thin margin President Obama has.

  3. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 08/08/2012 - 07:38 am.


    I notice that all of your reasons are about Romney. None of your reasons “why Obama will win” have anything to do with Obama. Which leads me to the only reason “why Obama will win.” People are stupid.

    • Submitted by Rachel Kahler on 08/08/2012 - 08:48 am.

      Thorough reading

      is an asset. You missed this:
      “(or more accurately, why Romney will lose)”
      I agree that people are stupid, though. But that’s not why Obama will win.

      • Submitted by Stephen Dent on 08/08/2012 - 11:15 am.

        Thank you for the chuckle…

        you are spot on.

      • Submitted by Dennis Tester on 08/08/2012 - 04:00 pm.

        I expect young single women

        to vote for Obama but no one else has any excuse for re-hiring this total failure who never would have been interviewed to be a vice president at most small companies, much less hired as the POTUS.

    • Submitted by Neal Rovick on 08/08/2012 - 11:14 am.

      It’s simple fact with re-elections.

      I’m sure you, and virtually all other voters, probably have an opinion on Obama. It’s Romney that needs to create a positive opinion. among voters.

      It’s up to Romney.

  4. Submitted by RB Holbrook on 08/08/2012 - 10:07 am.

    Advantage for Romney

    An important advantage Romney has is that he and his minions have no compunction about lying. One would hope that the lies would shine through, but the media’s obsession with “balance” keeps them from calling out the lies and showing them for what they are.

    Another advantage Romney has is that the American public, as noted by Dennis “QED” Tester, is not terribly bright. “If that feller with the nice hair says it, it must be so!”

  5. Submitted by Neal Rovick on 08/08/2012 - 10:11 am.

    Romney is one of the most constrained presidential candidates in history.

    There are so many parts of his history that are so darn awkward in the present political climate–he cannot bring them up–silencing an already “stiff” candidate into non sequitur and incoherence.

  6. Submitted by Wanda Ballentine on 08/08/2012 - 11:16 am.

    You’re forgetting

    The millions who have been made ineligible to vote by the GOP – where are the Democrats, the League of Women Voters, etc. getting them ready to vote?????

  7. Submitted by myles spicer on 08/08/2012 - 11:43 am.

    Re Holbrook

    As a point of agreement, the lack of compunction to lie (or to be polite, mislead) definately does exist; and combined with the obscene amounts of money in this election, it is a toxic formula for a conservative victory.

    However, since I wrote this, another element has come into play. There is a 4-page article in the recent VanityFair investigating IN DETAIL the off shore banks, investments, and money accounts Romney has in the Caymans, Bermuda and Switzerland. It is devastating — just what America needs as a leader, a guy who keeps huge amounts of money in secret off shore (tax advantaged or tax free) accounts. It is not only inappropriate for our president, it is unpatriotic, and possibly even worse. I think this along with the hidden details of his tax returns could sink him.

    I do not think America is ready for a president whose past finanacial manipulations are pretty scummy when it comes to supporting his own country with investment and taxes (in several cases his offshore investments bet against the value of the dollar); and having our country run by a Private Equity fund manager.

  8. Submitted by myles spicer on 08/08/2012 - 12:38 pm.

    Vanity Fair article

    As referred to above re Romney offshore shenanigans

  9. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 08/08/2012 - 01:02 pm.

    Amen to Ms. Kahler

    I’m not as sanguine about the election outcome as Mr. Spicer, largely for reasons others have mentioned. An oft-mentioned flaw in the electoral public, especially in election years, is the tendency to tie the economy, like the proverbial albatross, around the President’s neck. Presidents have very little influence on job creation, which comes, as others have noted, from demand, not from corporate (or individual) tax breaks.

    Demand comes from decent take-home salaries and a certain degree of optimism about the future on the part of the general public. Both of those items are, understandably, less certain and less prevalent this election season.

    As years of Rush Limbaugh and assorted other right wing loonies have shown us (e.g., Mrs. Bachmann), the right has no qualms at all about simply making things up, waiting for the aptly-named “lamestream” media to publicize the lie, and then sitting back to watch various pundits argue about its degree of truth. As they say in Hollywood, there ain’t no such thing as bad publicity, and a right wing lie, well-launched and (especially) well-funded, can go a long way to undermine a far less sensational, but factual, truth. We’re going to see a lot more of that, with the neofascist Koch brothers pouring millions into television ad purchases, including some in Minnesota.

    I’ve not yet read the Vanity Fair piece about Romney’s financial tricks, but can only hope that it’s (A) accurate and evidence-based; and (B) as effective as it should be. Romney’s behavior – to the shame of every member of Congress of either party who voted in favor of these various tax dodges – is probably legal. He is, after all, a very wealthy man, and can afford to hire the best tax lawyers and accountants that money can buy. What hiding one’s income in offshore accounts is NOT is ethical, especially, as Mr. Spicer points out, for someone who purports to be a viable candidate for the presidency. As Spicer suggests, it is both inappropriate and (my emphasis) unpatriotic.

    Sadly, the public has become less and less well-informed over the years, largely because electronic media have focused on entertainment and return on investment rather than public service, so there’s some unfortunate truth to Ms. Kahler’s assertion about the overall intelligence of the national audience, but if the Vanity Fair piece is accurate, and gets the attention it would deserve if that’s the case, even an uninformed public might well turn against a rich guy who’s made millions by screwing the country’s working stiffs, hidden the money away in offshore accounts to avoid paying the taxes that voters generally have to pay, and then insisted that it’s basically none of the public’s business what he has done with his money while promoting a tax plan that will raise THEIR taxes while lowering HIS.

    I certainly hope so.

    I’m not an Obama enthusiast, but Romney as president would be an abomination.

  10. Submitted by Alec Timmerman on 08/08/2012 - 01:20 pm.

    Why the economy won’t be as big a factor

    The president has always, and will always be blamed for the economy, however, it is mitigated this time by a Republican congress that has way overstepped in its efforts to sabotage America for their own electoral benefit. Obama will not be blamed as much as past presidents specifically because the Republicans have made it so obvious they are trying to restrain and even make the economy fail. Mitch McConnel said as the highest ranking Senator, and Rush Limbaugh said it as their de facto spokesperson.

  11. Submitted by rolf westgard on 08/08/2012 - 02:17 pm.

    Electoral college

    A bigger reason is the electoral college. Obama has likely wins in most of the states with double digit electoral votes. He has New England down through New York, New Jersey, PA, and Maryland and a lead in VA. He leads in several several states in the Midwest, WI, MN, IL, and Ohio. He has the west coast including Nevada and New Mexico. There is a big patch of red in the mountain states and prairie, but California’s 55 votes equals just about all of them. Give Romney TX, NC, FL, MO and the south, he still doesn’t get to 270.

  12. Submitted by Richard Steuland on 08/08/2012 - 02:42 pm.


    This election can be seen as a last gasp effort by a demographic that is diminishing rapidly.The out of touch party of white males and religious extremists will soon be met by an America in which they are a shrinking minority. I see this as a giant step forward.

    • Submitted by myles spicer on 08/08/2012 - 02:58 pm.

      Your comment

      is especially revealing. Yes, that is a major dynamic in this election and those in the future; and it is scaring the hell out of conservatives. We all know that the WASP majority will be gone probably by 2040; and it is a component in the visceral HATE for Obama. Many presidents were “disliked” but there is a large group of Americans that goes well beyond “dislike”. Part of it is as you describe — the fear of demographic change in our country — and Obama is the first one they see coming over that hill with a name and face they are having trouble accepting.

  13. Submitted by frank watson on 08/08/2012 - 03:51 pm.

    Thanks for the reasons not to vote for Romeny

    But it would be nice if you listed one reason to vote for Obama.

    • Submitted by myles spicer on 08/09/2012 - 08:33 am.

      Lots of good stuff

      You may not like the Affordable Care Act, and it may have gliches, but it moved us away from a sinking, disasterous health care system that was badly flawed, and outrageously costly

      He killed Bin Laden

      His tax proposals are fair — and certainly better than Romney’s pandering to the wealthy

      I suggest you compare Obama’s tax returns to the only one Romney has disclosed — they are available online, and very revealing. You should feel much more simpatico voting for Obama.

      He has wrestled with a difficult economic situation. OK, there will come a time when he can stop blaming Bush, but he not only inherited a mess, but has made some progress in ameliorating it. A major accomplishment was saving the auto induustry in America

      His regulatory proposals, while still too weak in my mind, are light years ahead of what we would have with Romney

      Similarily, he is much more environmentally friendly, and it there is now more agreement that gloabal warming is a fact.

      His protection of women’s rights are needed, and far better than those of the far right

      If indeed we end up with a Tea Party congress (God forbid) the country will bless the day they put Obama back in office (pretty much like our situation here with the GOP legislature and Gov.Dayton.

      There’s more, but this is a starter.

      • Submitted by frank watson on 08/13/2012 - 02:34 pm.

        All Valid Points.

        As someone who doesn’t have healthcare, I really hope it is affordable but with all the bureaucracy that comes with it I hate think how much it really is going to cost. Singapore has a private and public option that is affordable, from what I hear. Romney has supported public healthcare, Obamacare was based on it. It was sad to see Mitt switch just to get the Rep nod. Fear mongering from both sides drives up cost. Plus now that Obamacare is a tax, yet another broken promise and lie.

        As far as killing Bin Laden, he gave the order. This wasn’t even a tough call. Mother Teresa would have ok’d the kill order.

        He didn’t save the auto industry. He saved the health and pension plans of the union workers. Nothing more than buying votes. While the those with share lost everything but that’s the way the stock market works. Nothing is guaranteed.

        With the up coming closing of the coal based power plant in Rochester,MN because of the cost of conversion to cleaner energy doesn’t sit well for future electric costs. This doesn’t really affect the 1% who have more than enough money to absorb additional costs. This will effect you and your neighbor. I want clean air just like everyone else but I also want to be able to afford heating and cooling my house.

        I haven’t seen one proposal from the Republican Party trying to strip women of any rights. I guess if you want to say that Republicans believe that private healthcare companies can deny paying for birth control pills that is pretty gray since they’re aren’t saying that women can’t purchase their own. Not sure why government should be policing every private business decision. All the more reason for single payer insurance. Obama and the democrats held a majority in the house and super majority in the senate and still they couldn’t get the democrats to buy into his plan.

        As far as the Tea Party, anything that creates gridlock seems to lower my costs or at least delay them.

        • Submitted by Jackson Cage on 08/15/2012 - 12:55 pm.

          OK Frank…it’s clear

          you really aren’t looking for reasons to vote for the president, you just want an argument.

  14. Submitted by Rosalind Kohls on 08/08/2012 - 04:09 pm.

    if Obama wins

    If President Obama wins, it is because the majority of voters believe the government will give them “free” stuff. And I won’t be surprised. I dread thinking what will happen when the money runs out, because it will.

    • Submitted by Rachel Kahler on 08/09/2012 - 11:32 am.

      Free stuff

      As someone looking for NO handouts, I think you’re oversimplifying. As for “the money” running out, I have many, many doubts. We’re already TRILLIONS of dollars in debt. That is…the money’s already run out. No thanks to any previous Congress or President. Please, don’t listen to the fear mongering.

      • Submitted by Thomas Swift on 08/10/2012 - 11:21 pm.

        Leftist economics….

        “We’re already TRILLIONS of dollars in debt. That is…the money’s already run out.”

        “This new dress cost less than your flat screen…and it’s racked up so high we’ll never pay off that card anyway so who cares? Let’s fly to Hawaii!”

        …is no way to run a country; just ask the Greeks.

        • Submitted by Pat Berg on 08/12/2012 - 10:42 am.

          How about this?

          How about “I have a job interview Friday and no suitable outfit to wear. I know we don’t have the money, but without the outfit, I have no chance at the job, so we need to put it on the card if I’m to have any chance of getting a job and getting us out of debt.”

          Sometimes you have to spend – carefully, and with good judgment – to make progress towards getting out of an economic sinkhole.

          The “carefully, and with good judgment” part is essential, of course. But Republicans seem hell-bent on denying that it can ever be a good idea to spend money to help get us out of a hole.

          Of course, if that spending is for anything related to the military, then all bets are off . . . . . . . . . .

        • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 08/12/2012 - 02:31 pm.

          Timeo Danae!

          Although there is as much reason to fear rightwing economic “thinking.”
          The US economy is nothing like Greece for a number of reasons, chief among them is that Greece has no way to manipulate its currency, what with using the Euro and all.

  15. Submitted by James Hamilton on 08/08/2012 - 04:33 pm.

    I disagree with many of your points

    but appreciate the link to the Vanity Fair piece. Although riddled with innuendo, it does provide a fascinating look into the machinations made possible by our tax laws.

    The fight here is over a very thin slice of the electorate, those who have not joined the polarized majority. Althought it’s difficult for me to believe, it seems that there are those who find it difficult to decide between two very dissimilar candidates. Why that is befuddles me, frankly.

    I agree with Mr. Westgard and Mr. Steuland regarding the electoral college and the “diminishing demographic” as factors in the election, but would not discount the effect of the latter. If anything, the negative racial and cultural aspects of the election will be even more pronounced than ’08. The left’s love for Obama has diminished over the years and I for one do not anticipate the around-the-block lines we saw at Minnesota polling places in the last election. I do sense, however, a growing backlash against non-whites and non-Western cultures as we continue to suffer economically. That, I believe, is translating into anti-Obama sentiment among many, including some who voted for him on ’08.

    Time will tell. Until then, I’m settling in for a long, nasty campaign season at both the local and national levels.

  16. Submitted by Roy Everson on 08/09/2012 - 12:10 am.

    Rule of thumb

    It’s often said that a poor economy, or unemployment over 8%, will doom a sitting president’s chances. The examples given are Hoover, Ford, Carter and Bush 41. What’s missed in that analysis is that it still takes a superior politician to defeat an incumbent. FDR over Hoover, Carter over Ford, Reagan over Carter and Clinton over Bush. With all the advantages Romney has, it’s clear he is an inferior politician.

  17. Submitted by Karen Sandness on 08/09/2012 - 12:22 am.

    Not all the people with “Obama derangement syndrome” are old. If you look at some of the comments on Democratic Facebook pages, you’ll see racial epithets and taunts like “Go back where you came from” from fairly young people. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and assume that they’re just echoing what they’ve heard the adults around them say and that they’ll grow up and eventually see some of the world outside their suburb or small town.

    There are a lot of people in this country who are struggling financially and feeling powerless to change their situations. The Republican media have done a masterful job of convincing the less informed segment of this frightened population that their troubles are due to “Big Government” taking their “hard-earned money” and giving it to “welfare mothers and gangbangers” who “pop out one baby after another” and “spend their whole lives on welfare.”

    These are direct quotes from online comments in other publications. Yet if you call such people on their racism–and misinformation–you’re accused of “playing the race card.”

    • Submitted by Steve Rose on 08/09/2012 - 07:06 am.

      “Yet if you call such people …”

      ” I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and assume that they’re just echoing what they’ve heard the adults around them say and that they’ll grow up and eventually see some of the world outside their suburb or small town.”

      These “fairly young people” couldn’t be from your sophisticated and wicked-smart urban neighborhood? Perhaps you should examine your own stereotypes.

      • Submitted by Karen Sandness on 08/09/2012 - 04:25 pm.

        The people in my “sophisticated urban neighborhood”

        usually criticize Obama from the left, attacking him for things that he has done or not done as opposed to concocting fictitious concerns about his citizenship or background.

  18. Submitted by Richard Schulze on 08/09/2012 - 07:06 am.

    Older, whiter, less educated, more religious — that sounds like winning demographic profile for the future.

  19. Submitted by Ron Gotzman on 08/09/2012 - 10:16 am.

    Where is the hope and change?

    This article by Mr. Spicer is one of the worst arguments for an Obama vote I have read.
    In fact, this article mirrors a typical Obama campaign speech.
    Where is the Hope and Change? Where is the vision for the future? Where are the positive reasons to vote for Obama? Where are the “new ideas”?
    This article, along with the Obama campaign speeches, is filled with negative attacks and no reason to vote “FOR” Obama.
    The truth is – Obama cannot and does not run on his record.
    There are only so many ways you can spin “tax and spend.”

    • Submitted by myles spicer on 08/09/2012 - 11:15 am.

      Not an “argument”…

      this is merely a “prediction” based on the dynamics of the political situation as it stands today (or as I see it). You are way too defensive, so maybe I should recast it as an “argument” because the Obama record is actually pretty good (see my earlier response to a similar criticism in which I detail several meaningful Obama accomplishments). As a “prediction” I will shortly be proven right…or wrong!

    • Submitted by Harris Goldstein on 08/10/2012 - 09:04 pm.

      A fair point

      You’re right that Obama hasn’t delivered on the “hope and change” (at least the change part). We can argue about the reasons why:
      – the realities of governing
      – a failure to exploit the legislative process (aka LBJ)
      – a rabid Republican party who’s primary focus is to see him fail

      But what’s my choice? A president who tries to do the right thing but doesn’t fully deliver, or a candidate who doesn’t want to do the right thing at all ((at least given his recent veer to the far right)?

  20. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 08/10/2012 - 11:15 pm.

    Predictions are wonderful things!

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