GOP Gearing Up To Deny Obama A Third Term
“We made some strategic errors in ’08 and 2012, and we didn’t communicate our messages effectively,” said New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, one of several prominent GOP politicians whose names have been mentioned as possible candidates. “But third time’s the charm – I guarantee you won’t see Barack Obama being sworn in as President ever again.”
History does not favor the incumbent in this case: the last President to win a third term was Franklin Roosevelt in 1940, and he was the only one. But the Republicans are leaving nothing to chance, and have arrived at a two-pronged strategy to ensure that Obama retires from the Presidency for good in four years.
The first prong involves learning from the mistakes of the previous two campaigns, in which the more extreme right-wing elements of the party played an outsize influence and alienated women and Latino voters with their strident rhetoric in favor of restricted access to abortion and tighter immigration control. The Republican National Committee will try to focus on more moderate, pragmatic figures within the party to appeal to those demographics.
The second prong requires the GOP-controlled House of Representatives to obstruct, denounce, foil, bury, dilute or otherwise defeat any Democratic initiative in an effort to prevent Obama and his allies from implementing any policies to which the President can point in an election campaign. House Speaker John Boehner noted, with some gratification, that this element of the strategy does not require any significant changes in Republican methods or tactics.
“We’ve had this part of the plan in action for four years already,” he explained, “and within two years we might even win control of the Senate, too, so things are progressing well, if gradually, on that front.”
Obama, for his part, has said little of his plans for 2016. This early in the term he would naturally not talk about four years from now, preferring instead to focus on the executive challenges of the present. Addressing the next election this far in advance would only cause the electorate to question the President’s focus on the here and now, which could damage his approval ratings.
“We won’t know until a couple of years from now what Obama intends to do in ’16,” said veteran Democratic campaign adviser James Carville. “And even if he’s already made a firm decision, now is not the time to discuss it, except maybe among his closest confidantes. Even then, it might to too risky to let on what he has in mind. Washington has far too many leaks.”
Aside from Christie, the Republicans likely to try to unseat Obama include stalwarts such as Sarah Palin, Bill Richardson, Michelle Bachmann, Fred Thompson and Ron Paul, as well as relative newcomer Paul Ryan. Boehner himself might throw his hat in the ring when the time comes, but he says his focus is on the legislative front right now.
Mitt Romney was unavailable for comment, as he was still busy trying to win the 2012 election.
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