Tuesday, April 13, 2010


A new CNN poll says Obama leads all his best-known potential rivals for 2012:

What about the hypothetical general election matchup in 2012 against President Obama?

The poll shows Obama topping Romney 53 percent to 45 percent, beating Huckabee 54 percent to 45 percent, defeating Gingrich 55 percent to 43 percent and topping Palin 55 percent to 42.

There's a bit of conventional wisdom developing about the poor poll results of Sarah Palin in this and other rent polls -- namely, that she's too sarcastic to be an appealing presidential candidate to people outside her base.

But is it sarcasm specifically? Or is it just plain old negativity -- a nagativity that's not Palin's alone?

See, she's not doing much worse than Romney, Huckabee, and Gingrich -- and they don't rely quite so much on sarcasm. However, they're playing to the base, and, to varying degrees, what they're offering is primarily a vision of how bad Obama and the Democrats are, not a vision of how good things might be if we were to elect them.

Romney bitches about the Democratic health plan, Obama's economic policies, Obama's approach to foreign policy. Gingrich -- what isn't he bitching?about? He says Obama's a radical. He attacks him on foreign policy. He threatens to shut down the government to defund health care reform. Huckabee goes relatively easy on Obama, but he bitches about gay marriage, comparing it to incest and polygamy, and he invites Jon Voight on his TV show to bitch about how Obama is poisoning and raping America.

That's a lot of bitching. And these guys are losing.

Bitching may work if you're a congressional candidate. But we want more from presidents. We want hope. We want optimism. We're not getting that from Palin -- or any other Republican wannabe for 2012.

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