Obama’s future

by Russ Roberts on July 1, 2010

in Politics

Tomorrow is the first Friday of July. The June jobs report will be released and it’s not looking good. If the prognosticators are correct and there is little or no improvement in the unemployment number (and it may even go up), it would seem to seal the fate of the Democrats in November. There will only be three more job reports before the election and it seems unlikely that there will be any dramatic changes in three months. What will the Democrats run on? That the Republicans stopped them from passing a second stimulus package that would have saved the day? That they passed a health care package that still gets less than majority support from the American people?

I recently heard Charles Krauthammer say that if Obama is re-elected, America is irrevocably headed toward becoming a European-style country of entitlement, equality and less innovation. He may be right and it may be we’re headed there regardless of what happens to Obama. But I don’t think he’s right. First, if the Republicans take the House, how will Obama continue to move the country toward the left? I just don’t see it. I think he will move to the center as Clinton did. But if he persists in staying as far to the left as he has so far, not only will he not win re-election, I think he’ll have trouble getting the Democratic nomination. If the economy remains sluggish over the next year, if the Middle East continues to bring bad news, if Obama continues to take blame for oil in the Gulf, if the budget deficit grows, then I suspect President Obama may decide to spend more time with his children. He will step down rather than fight Hillary or someone else for the nomination.

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