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Obama’s Governor Problem

The trouncing Obama took in Congress Tuesday means he can’t get anything significant done legislatively over the next two years. But Republican gains in the state capitals threaten his reelection.

Republicans picked up the governships of New Mexico, Iowa, Wisconsin, Tennessee, Pennsylvania and Michigan – all potential 2012 swing states – as well as Ohio, perhaps the most critical battleground state of all.

Obama labored mightily to preserve Democratic Ohio Governor Ted Strickland’s job, traveling to the state repeatedly on his behalf and raising mountains of cash for him. But Stickland went down, defeated by former Rep. John Kasich.

The GOP also retained the governorship of Florida – just barely and despite a vigorous  Obama effort to put it in Democratic hands. If Obama loses both Ohio and Florida, his chances of being reelected are very, very low.

Obama’s problem here is that governors wield enormous power to help a president in their home state, directly controlling the levers of power within the state party to generate publicity and enthusiasm and to get people to the polls.

The failure to secure these governorships is an abject failure on the part of Obama’s political team. But it was hard to avoid, given the GOP resurgence they were facing.

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2 Responses to Obama’s Governor Problem

  1. Good point here.

    The Rep’s will have governerships in which to stage the jumping off points for the 2012 election with victories in a half dozen states; this does not bode well for President Irrelevant’s success.

    Remember also that Tea Party activism is going to double (then triple) as they will now form the “watch dog” on newly elected Republicans, with the standard bearer in Senator-elect Rand Paul.

    This combination: a thick, muscled grass roots left-right knock out punch of Red States and Republican/Tea Party teams setting up early for ’12 bodes well for us. I can see an early “get out the vote” campaign among those Republicans who stayed home in 2010, and re-energizing them for 2012 on the successes of this past Tuesday.

    As each day goes by, the conservative base continues to grow and then, like an amoeba split between Republican / TP activism, working in tandem to capture the rest of the House and Senate and the Presidency.

    MEMO TO THE DEMOCRATS: The massacre on Tuesday was the result of one person: Barack H. Obama. FIRE HIM for 2012 and re-organize around Hillary Clinton and other fired up Dem’s. Then again by choosing Hillary you will then be labeled racist-homophobic-right-wing-extremist-bigots. It sucks to be a Democrat. Sigh.

    • Tom – GOP seems to be setting it up to really go after partial and full health care repeal, along with similar initiatives. The message to the GOP base will be: We can’t do what you elected us to do, so get back out there in 2012 and finish the job of empowering us.