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As I watch the news and watch the GOP candidates commit fratricide, it seems increasingly likely that President Obama will remain President Obama through 2016.
- Obama has the general press on his side for the most part. Problems that would have been front page under the Bush administration are swept aside or given a positive spin; e.g., unemployment remains high, but "the economy is improving." Both true, but the emphasis is on the latter.
- The open warfare among the Republican candidates has made it appear that no candidate is presidential material. Shaking hands after the bloodshed is not going to repair the public image.
- Issues that stung the Democrats in 2010 have melted into the news background. The Tea Party is invisible and fragmented by the infighting of the candidates.
- The volatile Middle East is all but forgotten as the spotlight is on Bain or Gingrich's ex-wives. The public is tired of the Middle East and gladly takes a news break from it providing Obama cover as his foreign policy crumbles in that region.
- Obama remains an effective public communicator, even if a significant portion of what is communicated is not quite accurate. The public is willing to accept "close enough for government work."
- The GOP field is rife with uninspiring candidates or candidates with too much baggage. A vote magnet such as Paul Ryan or Allen West or Marco Rubio is at least four years away.
Maybe the situation will change once the Republicans finally make a choice. But from where I stand now, I don't see a repeat of 2010.
The problem, of course, is that by 2016 it won't be just Republicans who are fragmented. By then, Obama's class warfare and binge spending will make Europe's problems look like a kid's birthday party. By then, the next recession will make this last one seem like a minor bump in the road. By then, I'm not sure if anyone will want to be president.