Why Obama Will Be Re-Elected
By David Henderson
An article yesterday by Conor Friedersdorf, “The GOP Wasted 4 Years on the Wrong Critique of Obama’s Foreign Policy” plus my own observations of Mitt Romney and his apparent strategy now convince me that Barack Obama will be re-elected.
Why do I think Obama will win? Because, as Ron Paul has pointed out many times and as my friends, the late Roy Childs (here from about 4:00 to 7:00) and Murray Rothbard often pointed out, Americans tend to vote for the peace candidate. Barack Obama as the peace candidate? That’s ridiculous. Yes, it is. He tripled the number of troops in Afghanistan and has stepped up the drone attacks on people in Pakistan, Yemen, and elsewhere. So why do I call him the peace candidate? It’s relative. To Romney. Romney seems to want to stir things up with the Russian government and seems to want a bigger U.S. military presence in the Middle East. Many of his foreign policy advisers are George W. Bush neo-con retreads. So, yes, by contrast with Romney, ridiculous as it sounds, Obama is the more peace-oriented candidate.
Romney’s one chance was to stick to economics. Though, even on economics, he hasn’t sounded convincing, he’s running against a guy with a huge deficit, a growing debt, the unemployment rate above 8 percent, huge government spending, a weak recovery, and a regulatory bureaucracy that’s out of control. It should be easy to win. Even if your own economic proposals aren’t very good, it should be easy to win.
Some Republican friends compare this election to the 1980 election where Reagan was running against Jimmy Carter and Carter’s record on the economy was dismal. Not a bad comparison. So let’s finish the comparison. As Roy Childs pointed out in the segment I highlighted above, in September and early October of 1980, Carter started to score points against what looked like a very hawkish foreign policy stance by Reagan and pretty much tied Reagan after Reagan had come off the Republican convention in Detroit with a double-digit lead over Carter. (Roy remembered it as 40 points; I’m skeptical.) Reagan seemed to moderate and, of course, came through with a convincing margin of victory. But, Mitt Romney, I knew Ronald Reagan and you’re no Ronald Reagan. Many people have commented on Romney’s tin ear and my impression is that it’s true. And one problem with having a tin ear is that you can’t hear it when people say you have a tin ear. Romney seemed to like what Clint Eastwood said in his speech at the Republican Convention. Did Romney hear what Clint said about Afghanistan? I reported it at the time and emphasized it. He said:
But you [talking to an imaginary Obama] thought the war in Afghanistan was OK. You know, I mean–you thought that was something worth doing. We didn’t check with the Russians to see how did it–they did there for 10 years.
As I wrote, “Clint Eastwood is no dummy. He knows, as well as he knows what three words follow ‘Go ahead,’ who started the war in Afghanistan.” Moreover, Clint’s next words were:
You [imaginary Obama] gave that target date [for getting out of Afghanistan], and I think Mr. Romney asked the only sensible question, you know, he says, “Why are you giving the date out now? Why don’t you just bring them home tomorrow morning?”
If Romney were to advocate getting out of Afghanistan–and Iraq, and Germany, and Japan, and Korea, and, and, and–tomorrow, and if people believed him, he would win by a landslide. But he won’t and he won’t.