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Sunday, July 31, 2016

Obama Obstacle Removal Co.

Posted Thursday, February 9, 2012, at 4:32 PM

Hands down, the most interesting American politician of the 21st Century so far is President Barack Obama. He came from almost nowhere in 2008, blew away a strong Democratic field and sailed into the Oval Office with seven years as a state senator and four years in the U.S. Senate. Now he is preparing the most expensive re-election campaign in history, starting with what some analysts say is a base of 44 percent. Be generous and assume the Republican nominee begins with 40, leaving 16 percent available. With Obama just seven points from 51, that means the Republican will need 11 percent of the 16 -- indeed a stringent standard that get harder as the race progresses. Call it a political tractor pull.

Obama is in a strong position because he is a master of the politician's ultimate game, playing both ends against the middle by seeming extremely personable when he is in fact extremely tough. Ask 2004 Illinois Republican U.S. Senate nominee Jack Ryan, who was forced out of the race by a sex scandal. Ask former President Bush, who was still taking it in the neck at Obama's inauguration, or 2008 GOP nominee John McCain, whose physical disabilities were mocked by Obama surrogates. Ask al-Qaeda, which has had a lot more to worry about since Obama took office.

I thought when he came into power that the enemies of our country had better make themselves scarce because he had everything to gain by eliminating them, which is of course to be applauded. But the Republican nominee this year should not underestimate Obama whatsoever because he has an increasingly well-defined history of getting what he wants by removing obstacles.

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James R. Campbell
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