Suppose you do not want to see President Barack Obama reelected in 2012. How do you go about that without actually helping to reelect him?
Too bad enough voters who are already unhappy with him and his neo-Marxist programs didn’t think of that before his election nine months ago. But that was then, and this is now. So, what now?
The sobering truth is enough votes — however many enough turns out to be — that went to Obama in 2008 must go against him in 2012 if there is to be a different president in office in 2013.
So, try to set all political emotions aside. Put yourself in the shoes of one of the millions who voted for Obama.
What kind of appeal to such a person will make the most sense, be the most effective — in terms of that Obama voter’s interests?
Remember, this is someone who, for whatever reason, or lack of reason, cast a vote for Obama. Now you are asking that person to cast a vote not to reelect Obama three years and three months down the road.
Do you spend all your energies and time bad-mouthing the president? Heaven knows, he’s made a mess of enough things in the relatively short time he’s been in the White House not to deserve being roundly criticized. But will hearing all those negative characterizations, over and over again, persuade a 2008 Obama voter to cast a vote in 2012 to counteract that earlier vote?
It would be a lot easier to persuade a voter who didn’t bother to vote last time to get busy and vote next time not to keep Obama in the Oval Office.
Human nature being what it is, convincing enough 2008 Obama voters to reverse or even revise course, and become 2012 non-Obama voters, will be a tough psychological slog. That’s really asking quite a lot of anyone.
How many people do you know would be willing to admit — not even publicly, just to themselves — that they made one awful mistake when they entrusted their precious vote to Obama in 2008?
If it’s virtually impossible for a slick guy like Obama to admit even a tiny mistake, think how difficult it is for a mere mortal to admit a huge one.
Selling a Chevy owner on a Ford next time will take more than citing what happened to General (now Government) Motors under Obama. Savvy car salesmen will concentrate on Ford’s good points. When the car you’re driving starts to splutter, you’re interested in something better than buyer’s remorse.
In other words, if the Republican Party is serious about wanting to regain the White House and Congress — and there are days when this seems in doubt — it will have to field candidates who, based on their own qualifications and vision, can outshine Obama and his leftist Democratic members of Congress.
Does this mean criticism of Obama should cease? Absolutely not. He needs to have every flake of peeling paint blistered off him, for voters in 2012 will already be busy making comparisons between him and his potential Republican opponents. But that alone won’t do the job.
This means simply that Republicans must get cracking right away in presenting on the market an alternative model that will by far outshine what will by 2012 be a fender-dented, low-mileage, high-maintenance, rattle-trap Obamamobile.
The task of retiring that lemon to a used-car lot in the South Side of Chicago must start in the 2010 congressional and governorship elections. Many of those campaigns are underway already, or at least being planned. Time’s a’wasting.
Someone will emerge from the current funk and fog as the most-attractive Republican presidential nominee. If Sarah Palin can help boost enough conservatives into office by next fall, she will be well-along the road to the 2012 GOP nomination — regardless of whether or when she’s a declared candidate.
Right now, she appears to outclass other potential Republican candidates. Better than any, so far, she fits the formula for not reelecting Obama. It is increasingly obvious she intends to waste no time — not hers or anyone else’s.
John L. Perry, a prize-winning newspaper editor and writer who served on White House staffs of two presidents, is a regular columnist for Newsmax.com. Read John Perry's columns here.
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