Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Reelection Prospects

Ezra Klein is right to compare Andrew Sullivan's 2007 case for Obama in pages of Atlantic with his current case for Obama in the pages of Newsweek. Both are seminal, much better than what the vaunted Obama Campaign can produce.

But that aside, Ezra is correct in saying 

"If Europe manages its problems and the economy grows steadily in 2012, Sullivan's take on Obama's record is going to find a lot of support. If Europe falls apart and the American recovery slows to a crawl, the retrospective evaluations of Obama's presidency will not be so kind."

My take - it is possible that despite Greek defaults, Euro manages somehow to peddle through the third year of this crisis. Chances of American Economy holding on that context are bright, especially given that China will not hard land.

The real wild card is Iran and Oil Price. Come Spring, as usual prices will start climbing in USA. Today the oil price base is high meaning by Memorial Day to Labor Day it is very much possible that gasoline will be over $4 per gallon in USA on sustained basis. There will be the political drama of releasing Oil from Stategric Reserve and GOP pouncing Obama for Keystone Pipeline as if like a magic it will be build in no time and start flowing the Canadian Oil to USA. (Look for #8 question in Ponnuru's list - despite multi-billion dollar American Media, American Media will not ask such basic questions to our presidential candidates.)

Irrespective of what anyone says, history clearly shows that spikes in Oil Prices contribute to the recession. In Summer of 2008 price of Oil was very high - $140+ and then the recession followed. So the real danger is of Oil Prices. Besides Iran & Israel can always do crazy things to lit the fire in Middle East. I am not sure Political Analyst, including Ezra Klein & Andrew Sullivan are considering this possibility seriously. All we know, suddenly the whole thing can flare in the face of Obama and his chances of re-election would simply immolate in that chaos. 

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