Seeing Clearly Now?

Frank Rich and Paul Krugman each have columns in today’s New York Times suggesting that voters’ movement toward Obama in the past several weeks stems from their finally “getting it.” Rich says Americans now recognize Republicans’ coded racial rhetoric as the cynical ploy it’s always been, while Krugman thinks the economic crisis has encouraged attention to seriousness and policy positions rather than impressions of elitism and likeability.

I suspect a simple “fundamentals” interpretation is more likely right. The economy is in crisis and Americans are unhappy with the current administration’s foreign policy. In this type of situation, independents tend to want a change of course. This is 1980 revisited. In fact, it’s 2006 revisited, though with the economy and foreign policy swapping places as the central issue.

1 thought on “Seeing Clearly Now?

  1. Evidence that you are correct can be seen on Intrade Prediction Markets. Since Clinton withdrew her candidacy for the presidency, Obama’s price has closely tracked the price of a Recession in 2008. More than anything else, national elections are referenda on the state of the economy.

    My impression is that foreign policy is off the table. Wars are bad for incumbents, but they have to be noticeable and, right now, things are pretty quiet in Iraq and Afghanistan — besides McCain is associated with Iraq, where things seem to be going OK, and Obama with Afghanistan, where things seem to be getting worse.

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