I’m no soothsayer, nor am I a futurist who makes a living predicting what life will be like in the coming century. I leave that up to the experts. However, about this time each year, I like to sit down, reflect back on recent political trends and make some predictions for the New Year. So, without further ado, here are my bi-partisan political predictions for 2012.
As far as the presidential race is concerned, Mitt Romney will be the Republican presidential candidate for 2012. As much as the Tea Party wing of the GOP may hate the fact that he is not as far to the right as they would like, he is the GOP’s best shot at defeating President Obama and the established Republican leadership knows it.
The Party’s only problem lies in harnessing the Tea Party’s fanaticism without totally alienating them. Look for a bit of in-fighting to go on at the GOP National Convention. To appease the far right, look for whoever wins the nomination to pick a Tea Party affiliate as a running mate and do a lot of Obama-bashing in the upcoming election. Speaking of in-fighting, I predict that 2012 will be the year that House Speaker John Boehner finally realizes that the Tea Party is less interested in actually running the government than pushing their narrow political agenda. He will be forced to confront the Tea Party members of the House and Senate as they continue to mount a challenge to his authority as House Speaker. As far as bi-partisan efforts coming from the GOP, forget it. The Republicans will more than likely amp up their scorched-earth tactics against Obama.
I believe that President Obama will defeat Mitt Romney or anybody else the GOP chooses to run against him. He may not win by the margin that he enjoyed in 2008. This is largely because the GOP has done an effective job of disenfranchising a portion of Obama’s voting base by the passing of laws that require government-issued ID, eliminate same-day registration and require college students to vote in the town where their parents reside.
This presidential race will not be as civil as the Obama/Biden versus McCain/Palin matchup. This will be a good old-fashioned mud-slinging slugfest — the political equivalent of a MMA cage match, with Republican-backed PACs and Super PACs flooding the public airwaves with all manner of racially charged propaganda and misinformation hurled against Obama. But in spite of the GOP insults, look for the president to handle anything the GOP throws at him with confidence, grace and the witty intellect that made him win last time.
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