Jeff Greenfield is a good media liberal. His credentials are in order. He is also a “political reporter”, so he has to write positive things about Barack Obama’s chances for reelection, but he can’t quite get there. Greenfield’s latest column is about the dismal numbers Obama faces at every turn, and it is also about how who Obama is running against might not mean anything on Election Day.
Undoubtedly with a great deal of pain, Greenfield notes that the numbers staring Obama in the face are such that no incumbent president has ever/could ever overcome them. He cites the unemployment rate being stuck at 8 percent “for months” – he couldn’t bring himself to tell the truth and say “for years” (42 straight months); he says a 1.5% GDP means a “very close” election.
Next, he goes to the right track/wrong track sentiment voters have, which is 32.7/60.7 to the wrong track. Incumbents, he says, need at least a 35% positive to win. The consumer confidence level is at 60% – Greenfield points out that Jimmy Carter had a 65% when he lost in a landslide in 1980.
Of course, he avoids talking about the huge enthusiasm gap Gallup has reported that shows Republican enthusiasm to vote up 16 points and Democrat eagerness to vote down 22 points since 2008. He must have seen these numbers because he cited Gallup’s right track/wrong track numbers. He also skipped the fact that black ministers are so furious with Obama over his support for gay marriage that they are calling him Judas and telling their congregations not to vote for Obama. Nevertheless, he is a liberal, so we can’t expect very much truth from him. What he did write is as far as he is constitutionally able to go in talking about how much trouble his hero is in.
In the windup to his piece, Greenfield shows that he gets it whether he realizes it or not. He says, “… to put it bluntly: The Republicans have nominated a bad candidate. The Obama campaign, however, can take very limited comfort from Romney’s discomfit. If the “fundamental” numbers continue to be as grim as they now are, the desire to change course will deepen. And the more that longing intensifies, the lower the bar Mitt Romney will have to clear.”
Welcome to the real world, Mr. Greenfield. Conservatives were denied the chance to nominate a genuine conservative, but that will mean nothing on Elections Day. Romney is only the guy we HAVE to vote for to kick Obama out, and that’s what we will do.
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