US Presidential election – hold onto your hats!

The 2012 US Presidential race is certainly going to be interesting. That’s for sure. There is no end of permutations, twists and turns ahead which will make very entertaining viewing for us over this side of the pond.

Every time you make a statement about the election, there are caveats and “but ifs” which follow.

It’s tempting to say that Obama is sunk because of the US economy. However, there are strong signs now of a solid recovery. Last week’s job news was very positive and polls are showing a thawing of anti-Obama feeling.

You could also say that Obama is hated by some. Indeed, the vitriol aimed at Obama by the right-wing is extraordinary. But generally, Obama does well in polls for likeability.

Sometimes, Democrat Presidents struggle to shrug off the image of being soft on foreign matters. I’m thinking particularly of Jimmy Carter, who was crippled (politically) by the Iran hostages affair. However, whether you believe he’s right or wrong, Obama has been stunningly effective in foreign affairs from a US point of view. Bin Laden is dead, al-Quaeda is neutered, the Iran war has “ended”, the Afghanistani war will probably be within sight of an end by November, and no new full-scale wars have started.

You could say that Obama has been a lame duck President because he is forever in a deadlock with Republicans on the Hill. But, legislatively, he has been one of the most successful Presidents in living history, with Healthcare reform and a number of other key legislative packages in place.

While Mitt Romney has struggled to get Republican primary support, he will seem like a more natural, main-stream candidate for the general election. He’s a great fund-raiser and has an extraordinary loyal and wide base of campaign workers.

Sadly, there is one significant factor which may make this US Presidential Election dirtier and more dominated by money than any other recent Presidential race.

That factor is Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission 2010. The Supreme Court ruling in that case made it legal for corporations and unions to spend from their general treasuries to finance independent expenditures in campaigns through Political Action Committees, or PACs or SuperPACs. This means that the 2012 US Presidential campaign will be absolutely awash with millions of dollars’ worth of TV adverts attacking each side.

It’s not going to be edifying.

* Paul Walter is a Liberal Democrat activist in Newbury and West Berkshire. He is part of the Liberal Democrat Voice team and blogs at Liberal Burblings.

Read more by or more about , or .
This entry was posted in News.
Bookmark the web address for this page or use the short url http://ldv.org.uk/26972 for Twitter and emails.
Advert

2 Comments

  • You say ‘the Iran war has ended’ but I suspect you meant Iraq war. Freudian slip me thinks šŸ˜‰

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?

Advert



Recent Comments

  • User Avatarrichard rowles 28th Jul - 6:36pm
    Tony Dawson; because there is zero chance of this effecting policy, some candidates already selected. FE calling for candidates. Sad but true.
  • User AvatarRichard Underhill 28th Jul - 6:32pm
    The coalition was in the unusual position of having had Labour, Liberal Democrats and Tories all proposing reform of the Lords in their 2010 manifestoes,...
  • User AvatarSueS 28th Jul - 6:25pm
    As someone who has been unable to be active in the party for many years, I have noticed another problem. As policies wend their weary...
  • User AvatarGareth Epps 28th Jul - 6:23pm
    We have been discussing just this subject on the Federal Policy Committee. Those interested might like to come to the consultative session on the Saturday...
  • User AvatarMichael BG 28th Jul - 6:18pm
    After the weird proposal put forward by Nick Clegg I am not sure anyone will take us seriously on the reform of the House of...
  • User AvatarRichard Underhill 28th Jul - 6:17pm
    An international force can keep the peace if both sides want that, as in Cyprus. If not it becomes a third party in the fight.