If you listen to the talk in Britain, President Barack Obama will sail through the 2012 elections, easily keeping his place in the White House. Such talk reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of the political climate in America, according to Nile Gardiner, a foreign affairs analyst and political commentator.
In a blog for U.K. newspaper The Telegraph, Gardiner outlined the ways in which Obama actually faces an uphill battle — and an angry electorate.
“Many political leaders in Britain fail to understand the degree to which the American people are deeply unhappy with their president’s poor handling of the economy,” the blog read. “Nor have they grasped the epic scale of the defeat suffered by the president in the November mid-terms, and the emphatic rejection by a clear majority of Americans of the Big Government Obama agenda.”
Make no mistake, according to Gardiner, the outcome of the 2012 election will reflect the state of the economy. And many Americans are still out of work, or worried that the Government is running out of time and money.
“Home prices in the United States have sunk to their lowest levels since 2002, falling 4.2 percent in the first quarter of 2011. At the same time, employment growth is stalling, with only 38,000 Americans added to the workforce (sic) in May, the smallest increase since September,” Gardiner said. “There has also been a steep slowdown in the manufacturing sector, and a downturn in the stock market on the back of weak economic news.”
All of this economic insecurity bodes ill for Obama, according to Gardiner.
“There is no feel good factor in America at the moment. But there is a great deal of uncertainty, nervousness, even fear over the future of the world’s only superpower. This is hardly a solid foundation for a presidential victory for the incumbent,” Gardiner said.
“Even though we don’t know yet who he will be up against, Barack Obama could well go into 2012 as the underdog rather than the favourite (sic) he is frequently portrayed as.”