Thingish Things

Anything Goes in 2012

Written By: William F. B. O'Reilly - Jun• 02•11

Political campaigns are strange animals. Most of them move linearly, in purely predictable ways.  Others – at least the competitive ones – can be dramatically altered by almost imperceptible occurrences – just as typhoons, hypothetically, can be caused by the flutter of butterfly wings on the other side of the globe (although I don’t really buy that.)

But you never know which way any given campaign will play out – until it plays out.  Will this be a logical one – one where money, message, and a ground game provide the margin of victory – or will this be a crazy free-for-all where events overtake the candidates?

The closest analogy I can think of for this dynamic is the college basketball game.  Some are methodical runs up and down the court, with the team with the greater shooting percentage prevailing.  And some can hinge on a single bad call or a just-missed rim shot that deflates one team and inflates the other. Rudy Giuliani’s 2008 presidential primary strategy focusing on Florida, for example, was widely lambasted when it failed.  But it also could have worked, in which case it would have been labeled brilliant. These things come down to millimeters sometimes.

Take Congressman Anthony Weiner’s Twitter craziness.  It stopped dead in its tracks a stream of  effective messaging coming out of the Democratic National Committee on the Republicans Medicare reform plan, a pivotal national issue.  It gave Republicans a breather to adjust their messaging. Who would of thunk that a photo of someone’s underwear would dramatically change the national political conversation within a period of 48 hours? It was completely unpredictable.

I don’t know about you, but the 2012 Presidential election is unfolding as though it may become a strange one.  U.S. economic events are moving quickly; the Republican field is  uncharacteristically ethereal, and the news media moves on a dime today like never before.

Does Mike Huckabee’s decision not to run end up handing the Republican nomination to Mitt Romney, who in turn puts Michigan in play, which in turn pulls President Obama’s resources out of Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia? That kind of thing.

This morning in the Telegraph, Nile Gardner predicts a Republican blow out in 2012, while others would bet their bottom dollar that Obama is now a shoe-in for re-election.

The truth is anything can happen, and my gut tells me anything might.



You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

One Comment

  1. Your Friend says:

    It’s all up for grabs. No president since FDR has been reelected with an unemployment rate over 7.2%. There’s now way we get below that before the election. Then again, Romney is not a great candidate, but he’s the only one with name recognition so he’s the clear front runner. Don’t underestimate the growing hispanic population helping Obama too. It’s going to be a wild ride.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.