Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Beginning this week, Potusphere is launching a series of extremely short weekly briefs, Capital Brief, dedicated to analyzing the American presidential election and the prominent actors involved.

The first issue, from June 14, after the jump.

CCapital Brief  
Amy Greene
Capital Brief, n°1 – June 14, 2012

US Elections: Obama’s Catastrophic Week - A Turning Point?

  •  On CNN, Bill Clinton called Mitt Romney’s business record “sterling,” angering the Obama campaign by insisting the contrary of its core argument against Romney.
  •  Democrats lost a recall election in Wisconsin to try to unseat sitting Republican governor Scott Walker. President Obama said he was “too busy” to campaign on behalf of the Democratic candidate, who lost handily.
  •  For the first time ever, Mitt Romney raised more money than Barack Obama (May totals: $76,8 million v. $60 million, respectively)
  •  Republicans and Democrats alike (cf. Senators John McCain, Dianne Feinstein respectively) have railed against classified antiterrorism operations leaks (Bin Laden raid; drone targeted killings; Al-Qaeda “kill list”), deried as "politically-motivated". Critics blame Obama for the “irresponsible” leaks as harmful to national security. The leaks all lent to an image of Obama as tough and deliberate in fighting terror.
  • On June 6, Obama called a spontaneous press conference in which he committed a gaffe, saying: “the private sector is doing fine,” just when unemployment rose to 8.2% and Americans lack confidence in the recovery.
  • Obama’s Commerce Secretary caused three consecutive car accidents in California, one of which is being treated as a felony offense.


 The fundamental dynamics of the race have not changed, but:
  • This week brought reinforced pessimism about the economy and the notion, even among prominent Democrats, that this race is - and will likely remain - very close until the end, with no guarantee of victory to anticipate.
  •  Increasingly accepted is the notion that there will not be significant economic improvement before the fall to bolster Obama’s momentum.
  •  Polls indicate that voters like Obama, who is still polling high with traditionally Democrat voters; yet voters prefer Romney on jobs/economy (49%-41%).
  • Obama’s gaffe will not disappear. But he can seize this as a chance to focus less on defending his record and rather on offering a clear vision of social and economic justice and fairness – one that paints Romney as a hopeless elite with anti-Middle Class policies.