In a non-partisan setting, I had the following to say:
Without regard to my personal wishes with regard to Mr. Obama, my assessment of him as a politician, in 2008 an his chances in 2012 are as follows. Mr. Obama had a very good hand dealt to him in 2008. A very unpopular sitting president, a weak ticket from the same party, then a sharp downturn to the economy. Plus, his relative youth, his surface appeal to centrism, a vague but optimistic message, and of course the unique feature of being the first Black president. It added up to a solid win, but not a landslide win. (To see what a landslide looks like the three in my lifetime, 1964, 1972, 1984 are good examples.) Since then, he has had a very rough time. The economy is terrible. Whether you approve of his policies or disagree with them, so far they have not had any discernible positive effect. He seems unsteady in office, and to lack a capacity to command and lead, and the public wants a strong executive in times of crisis. The American public is an extremely unforgiving employer. We have had three people elected president who were popular and seemingly highly capable, whose reputations were destroyed by failing to overcome a weak economy: Martin van Buren, Grover Cleveland, and Herbert Hoover. Jimmy Carter is a less extreme example of the same phenomenon. Unless Mr. Obama suddenly has a run of good luck, he will be very weak going into the 2012 election, for the same reasons and will suffer the same fate. That said, the GOP may not be able to nominate a candidate that is popular and can reach into the center. Or the GOP could split off a third party, putting Mr. Obama back in that way. Mr. Obama’s supporters are highly motivated, organized and well-funded. Public employees unions will be practically fighting for their lives in 2012 and will work hard for him. The media will support him as fervently and with as much, if not more, slant and spin as they did in 2008. These advantages may make up for a terrible economy and weak performance in office.
Bottom line: It is too early to tell what will happen. The current Intrade odds show Mr. Obama a hair below even odds. Interestingly, Intrade shows a generic Democrat a hair above even, which suggests the possibility of a primary challenge to Mr. Obama. That could happen, probably from the Left. He will easily overcome any such challenge, and it may actually help him in the general election.
Interesting times for political junkies.
— Am I wrong about any of this?