Election Day is nearly a year off and the first primaries aren’t until January, but I’m ready to skip ahead to the main event. The last serious hope of the Tea Partiers, Rick Perry, and their last not-so-serious hope, Herman Cain, are in campaign death spirals. Unless God has a cruel sense of humor, Newt Gingrich will pass like a tantrum. That leaves us with a general election between two serious and certifiably sane candidates. Phew!!Read it all.
If you want to go into hibernation now and re-emerge in August for the campaign home stretch, I understand. But just to put the season of vaudeville firmly behind us, let’s contemplate the choice that awaits: two confident, intelligible, no-drama, rather distant men, each of whom seems to have overcompensated for bigot-arousing origins (Obama’s race, Romney’s religion) by being rational to a fault.
Despite efforts to polarize our politics into ideological base camps, in presidential elections the deciding vote still belongs to the middle. These voters have been drowned out lately by the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street, but they are the main prize in 2012. Bruce Gyory, who is a consultant and teaches voting trends at the State University of New York at Albany, calls them the “40 within 40” — 40 percent of the electorate self-identify as independent, and 40 percent of those independents describe themselves as moderate. That means about one in six voters are up for grabs. Obama won them in 2008. The Democrats lost them badly in 2010.
We cannot know whose advertising arsenal will be most effective, which candidate will excel in the debates, or what blunders might tilt the outcome. We don’t know whether the MoveOn left or the evangelical right will simply stay home. We don’t know if Ron Paul will siphon off some of his libertarian devout into a third-party run. But we can, even at this distance, imagine the arguments that will be made to win over those decisive swing voters for Romney. Here are four.
Note how it's also a manifesto for defeating Romney, and Keller confesses he misses Bill Clinton.
* "Obama Plan: Destroy Romney."
* "Presidential Debates Take Toll on GOP."