Barack Obama rode an incredible wave of celebrity adoration into the White House in 2008 and while its clear to many of us that he has proven himself unworthy to lead this country further he still remains a celebrity with a “can do no wrong” label stuck on him by his many devoted fans. I think of Lindsay Lohan’s continuing celebrity in spite of repeated brushes with the law. I think of Britney Spears shaving her head, possibly neglecting or mistreating her kids, and her drug and alcohol failings. And I think of Mel Gibson simply losing his mind. Like all of these “celebrities” Obama has proven undeserving of our total and unquestioning affection. Given yet another chance could he rebound ala Robert Downey Jr. and resurrect his image? My guess is No. But his “fans” think yes. And to me, that’s the saddest part of this story. He doesn’t so-much have followers, he has “fans” which is short for “fanatics”. I don’t want a President whose a celebrity. I want a leader.
I have never been enamored with celebrity. And I’ve absolutely NEVER understood celebrity worship. These feelings and sense that they’re not much different from you and me precedes the era in my life when I was constantly in front of nationally known and revered celebrities. As a reporter in the late 80s and early 90s I had my share of celebrity exposure. Having married the daughter of a very prominent Washington State politician and Washington Husky football star I came across even more. All this exposure did was confirm my lifetime sense that these individuals are seldom worthy of the “worship” Obama has been the recipient of.
So what’s going to happen next week? Let’s start with what’s simple before we get into the more complicated.
270 Electoral Votes are needed by either candidate in order to secure the Presidency.
Senator John McCain carried 21 states against Obama in 2008. Not one of those states will go for Obama this time around. Due to census re-apportionment those states now carry 180 electoral votes.
Obama barely took Indiana in 2008. He won’t this time. Polls clearly show Indian’s 2010 strong shift to the right was not a fluke. Indiana’s 11 votes will be Romney’s. Romney’s electoral total- 191.
So-called swing states Virginia and North Carolina also went strongly Tea Party and strongly Republican in 2010 and the latest polls show Romney with a narrow lead in each. Romney get’s them. They’re worth 28 electoral votes. Romney’s electoral total- 219.
Florida is also a swing state but recent polls going back more than one month have consistently shown Romney in the lead. Florida went for Bush in 2000 and 2004. It’ll add to Romney’s total. 29 more. Romney’s electoral total- 248
With all these East Coast state’s (Virginia, Florida, North Carolina et al) falling to Romney and closing polls while state’s further west remain open to voting, that will have an undeniable benefit for Romney. And he’ll need it because of the remaining eight swing states Obama narrowly leads or is tied in the polls in 7 of them. Colorado and its 9 electoral votes is the only one I’m really confident putting in the Romney column. Romney’s electoral total- 257.
The remaining state’s in play are Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada. Nevada went for Bush in 2000 and 2004. I’m confident the many Mormons in Nevada as well as the momentum from East Coast voting will push Nevada into the Romney column. That’s six more. Romney’s electoral total- 263.
That leaves five midwestern states plus New Hampshire to determine the Presidency of the United States. They total 74 Electoral Votes. Pennsylvania and Michigan have each voted for the Democrat in 2000, 2004, and 2008. It’s really incredible that they are in play at all. But barring something unforeseen I predict they’ll be in the Obama column (though if Romney gets either it’s over. Romney wins).
Wisconsin also voted Democrat in 2000, 2004, and 2008. But the cheese-heads also elected a Republican Governor and legislature in 2010 and then re-elected the Governor in an even more lopsided re-call vote last year. And THEN Wisconsin’s Paul Ryan was named Mitt Romney’s running mate. Polls show Obama leading but Romney within the margin of error. Of the four remaining states in question (New Hampshire, Iowa, Ohio and Wisconsin) the Badger State is the one most likely to go for Romney. I think they will. Romney wins. Romney’s electoral vote count- 273.
Iowa and New Hampshire have gone Democrat 2 of the last 3 Presidential Elections and polls very narrowly favor Obama in each. Ohio has gone Republican in 2 of the last 3 elections. And Obama only won it with 52% of the vote in 2008. Political pundit and former Bill Clinton election Master-mind Dick Morris is strongly asserting Ohio will go for Romney. But if I’m right, that will just be icing on the cake.
Romney’s win will have a positive influence out West where last-minute voters will help elect Rob McKenna to the Washington Governor’s post, becoming the first Republican in more than 30 years to lead our state. McKenna got 59% of the vote in 2008 when he was re-elected Attorney General. And since his destruction of Jay Inslee in the Gubernatorial debates he will slide home safely with this election too.
What I really believe is that something is yet to happen that will decide this race for the Presidency. I believe the eight swing state’s are so close that some news event, some revelation, or some major gaffe will bring victory or defeat to Romney or Obama. I definitely think more is going to come out about Benghazi. I would not be surprised in the least if Obama conducts a military strike in Libya with the claim of securing justice for the murderous perpetrators of the attacks in Benghazi. Perhaps hurricane Sandy will be so devastating as to cast an incredible shadow over Obama. If there are other October surprises out there I don’t know. But that’s why they’re called surprises.
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