Sunday, June 17, 2012

Obama SWOT List for 2012

 Enjoyed doing this for 2008, so I am doing it again. More relevant this time around.

Obama SWOT Analysis for Election 2012


1. Considerable accomplishments in 4 years.

2. Helped to stop the free falling Bush economy…. Preventing an even bigger calamity.

3. Several months of positive job growth (including more net new jobs than the Bush Admin produced).

4. Likeable

5. He’s the incumbent - almost always a strength. He’s a known character now…although Republicans still want to highlight his non-white “otherness” through the spread of misinformation in order to create fear and uncertainty.

6. Supports a set of Progressive principles that are largely supported by the American public. When Progressive ideals are broken down into specific policy positions, those positions tend to have public support. When positions are explained clearly, without media distortions/misinformation, and when Progressives are able to get their message out, the public usually supports the Progressive view on most of the major issues and challenges facing the Country, from Healthcare (when taken piece by piece), on investing in education, on the need to invest in infrastructure, on taxes, on the approach to debt reduction, on energy, on supporting small businesses, on keeping jobs in the U.S., on women’s rights, on Medicare….Progressives win on just about every major issue.

7. He was able to find and eliminate Osama bin Laden under his watch. Obama has effectively neutralized perceived Republican strengths on national security.

8. Has, for the most part (until recently) been able to avoid the wedge issue trap….issues usually brought up by the GOP as a way to divide the electorate & divide the Country.

9. He has a strong grassroots network already in place.

10. Has the funds for a long political fight.

11. He is a strong charismatic campaigner.

12. Strong support from women and minorities.

13. More in touch with the average voter.


1. The U.S. economy has not turned around as quickly as he (and the rest of us) would have liked.

2. His otherness is still an issue for some voters (which is why the GOP devotes so much time to manufacturing & highlighting differences).

3. Losing support among college age voters (according to the Melissa Harris-Perry Program 6-17-2012). Romney is now leading or running neck in neck with this demographic (strange indeed).

4. Losing support among white voters overall.

5. Losing support among middle class independents according to the Gallup organization. (strange). Conversely… Romney now leads with this demographic. They believe the Wall Street candidate with save them from the problems created, in part, by Wall Street. (completely illogical).

6. Has PR & strategy teams in the White House and in the wider Democratic Party that are absolutely atrocious. They can’t even sell facts… so they definitely can’t sell an idea…. Not even if their lives depended on it. They don’t come close to matching Republicans in terms of effective strategy, communication and marketing of their ideas. This is why - despite the public supporting most Progressive positions - Progressives still often lose the public debate overall and have found themselves tied in polls with the perfect Wall Street poster boy, in a year when the public can’t stand Wall Street. The PR and strategy arms of the Obama machine have become famous for making boneheaded decisions & being slow to manage fallout once they stumble or for not doing enough to market Obama as a candidate.

Think of a company with a far superior product & brand… a brand that consumers actually prefer… Yet the company has a marketing department that is unable to sell the product. With a superior product…it is still losing market share. Seems crazy right? Companies with good established brands and products that are superior to the competition should easily be able to establish and maintain a competitive advantage over rivals. But the situation described is essentially what we have with the Democratic Party at the moment.

7. Lacks both corporate & grassroots media strength. This is closely related to #6. The lack of media infrastructure shows. Progressives do well when it comes to communicating with one another & preaching to the choir , but they (including POTUS) do a poor job of talking to/& making the case to the general public. Slow jamming with Jimmy Fallon isn’t going to cut it.

We have a Republican candidate who says he will basically dismantle Medicare & cut benefits. I should be seeing & hearing this in commercials every 15 minutes. At least we should see more effort in the battleground States. Romney and the Republicans have gifted the Democrats with a poison pill to use against them….not to mention all of the other Republican gifts. I can think of at least 7 or 8 commercials that should be running. Sure for some issues it makes sense to wait until Fall, but on most issues, they can hit the GOP right now. The idea should be to keep the GOP on their collective heels until election day. They should define Romney before Romney and the GOP can do so.

8. Cannot really control domestic or global economic outcomes in any significant way (towards the positive) in the short term, especially with obstructionist Republicans in Congress.

9. Lacks fighting spirit. Race/ethnicity plays some role in this. Obama, like many men of color, is hamstrung by his race (whether he knows it/admits it or not). Obama must always overcompensate when it comes to appearing patient and dignified (did you see him with that racist reporter Neil Munro who heckled him this week?…. It is clear that he had to restrain himself). When it comes to being strong & angry he can’t afford to be too much of either. Yet Americans overall like a little John Wayne in their political leaders.


1. Has the opportunity to define Romney.

2. Has the opportunity to take advantage of the fact that Romney is out of touch with average Americans.

3. Can paint Romney as wishy washy… and as someone who is willing to do or say just about anything to get elected.

4. Can highlight Team Romney's positions that are unpopular with the general public (there are plenty of these to choose from…. Unfortunately, Democrats aren’t doing it effectively…in many cases they aren’t doing this at all).

5. With a net worth of over $250 million dollars, including tons of money in offshore accounts (to avoid tax liability) Democrats have a chance to brand Romney as the Wall Street candidate...the candidate of the 1%. (although the window of opportunity to define Romney is closing by the day, while Democratic strategists do little to nothing).


1. The global economy, especially the European economy. Greece could do more today (their election day) to decide the 2012 election in the U.S. than anything Obama and the Democrats could do. The same goes for the rest of Europe over the next several weeks. And Obama & Co. has very little control over the situation.

2. Israel/Benjamin Netanyahu & their obsession with Iran. PM Netanyahu would love to see a Republican President in the U.S. In fact, seeing Romney elected & having a more hawkish U.S. President would be in their interest (from their delusional standpoint they see war as being in their interest…but actually war or even a more hawkish foreign policy would be bad for Israel). So it is possible that Netanyahu could be willing to spark a crisis that could have a negative impact on Obama’s re-election. It’s not only possible…but it is probably likely later in the Summer or in the Fall.

3. International events mostly outside of U.S. control, such as a flare up in a global hotspot (Middle East/Syria, N. Korea, Russia, South China Sea or elsewhere).

4. National media.

5. A scandal, real or manufactured.

6. House of Representatives. (They are already attempting to drum up a scandal).

7. Obama & Co’s own PR & strategy ineptness. It makes them a political liability for themselves.


It is going to be difficult for President Obama to win re-election this year. I'm not ready to throw in the towel and say it will be impossible... but it will be difficult. As I have stated many times.... this election will look more like the elections of 2000 and 2004. It will come down to 4, 5, or 6 States.

However, when you examine everything through an unbiased lens... just based on facts, this really shouldn't be all that close. On a roughly 8 to 2 margin, the American public sides with Progressives on the major issues and challenges facing the Country. Yet we have this stalemate. It is frustrating to watch.

I don't know if the current situation says more about the weakness & incompetence of Democratic Party strategists and advisers or about the fierceness  and creativity of those in the Romney camp.


rikyrah said...

I have wanted to leave a comment for you, because I thought this was excellent, and I am spreading the word about it.

I agreed with you about the President and his communications team until the day the Pew Study came out about the President's coverage. When that study came out and said that the President was receiving NINETY PERCENT NEGATIVE COVERAGE, while my opinion of his press operation didn't change, the reality of the scope of what the President is up against did.


YOU yourself listed all of his accomplishments...HOW THE FUCK CAN HE HAVE NINETY PERCENT NEGATIVE COVERAGE?

This goes beyond the usual pale. THIS level of imbalance is DELIBERATE. It has to be.

It's a wonder the President has any positive ratings at all.

Also, we believed that the GOP was deliberately working against him. That they chose to commit ECONOMIC TREASON AGAINST THIS COUNTRY couldn't have been in the scope of our reality when his term began, considering the horrific economic shape that this country was in. But, we know NOW that they decided on January 20, 2009, to commit ECONOMIC TREASON against this country.

The reason the economy has stalled is because of that ECONOMIC TREASON.

The unemployment rate would be 2 points lower IF the GOP Governors hadn't of fired those public employeess - which was DELIBERATE ECONOMIC TREASON.

If they had passed the President's Jobs Bill, that would be another 1 point lowering of the UR...

What angers me is Democrats unwilling to stand by this President and call it what it is - ECONOMIC TREASON.

They would choose to destroy this country, than give President Obama credit for anything.

And, I do mean ANYTHING.

Loved this analysis.

rikyrah said...

ROBM told me to leave you this comment:


Please cross post you post on Mirror. The following is mine.
ROTFLMBAO! on your analysis! Only Snob is more ruthless!

Unfortunately when you addresses this here, "Has PR & strategy teams in the White House and in the wider Democratic Party that are absolutely atrocious. They can’t even sell facts… so they definitely can’t sell an idea…. Not even if their lives depended on it.

They don’t come close to matching Republicans in terms of effective strategy, communication and marketing of their ideas. This is why - despite the public supporting most Progressive positions - Progressives still often lose the public debate overall and have found themselves tied in polls with the perfect Wall Street poster boy, in a year when the public can’t stand Wall Street.

The PR and strategy arms of the Obama machine have become FAMOUS FOR MAKING BONEHEADED DECISIONS & BEING SLOW TO MANAGE FALLOUT once they stumble or for not doing enough to market Obama as a candidate.(my caps)", while accurate it doesn't address the fact that it is a reflection of the President himself; the President is a creature of his institutions "law school". Everything must be parsed, as though it was a seminar, unless it is foregone conclusion decided as wrong behavior; see Shirley Sherrod.

A rationale w/in the law must prevail ignoring you are operating in the political realm. How many times have you heard him say if people would only stop playing politics we can go to work for the American people? Does he even internally acknowledge that their is "diversity" in who the American people are and how to appeal to them? How recent has it been that he even jabbed, let alone thrown a right cross, against the media's inability to do their job and examine facts? We have seen more horse manure in two days rehabilitating the SCOTUS chief justice as a moderate as a fact than an examination of the facts of the health insurance reform act, aka ACA. As someone at JJP put it why hasn't "Obamacare" as a pejorative been flipped to "Obama Cares"? and this is your signature legislation for the history books whether it fails or succeeds!

Until he takes the steps to man up and defend his ideas beyond his echo chamber every damn day optimism on his being reelected are misplaced

Brian E. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brian E. said...


I agree, there is too much Professor Obama and not enough Obama the political leader. I'm not sure if I could agree that he is somehow confined in any way by the institutions that molded him. Harvard Law was not his only training ground. That's just one piece of his beckground. That is not the only example that he has to draw from. Remember that he is also a product of cut throat Chicago/Illinois State politics. In addition to that, he was an organizer. He knows what it takes to get down and go Rove. He may just want to stay above the fray...and that's commendable. But he knows the deal.

But staying above the fray doesn't mean your surrogates necessarily have to. You can even have some underground, off the books surrogates... as long as they keep their hands clean and keep enough distance. I hate the Rove stuff personally... but when you are facing opponents who almost have no limits in terms of ruthlessness... you have to do what you have to do to give yourself a chance. With the Citizens United ruling and all of these groups flooding in, Obama will have to struggle to keep the playing field level. With no Federal rules like the Fairness Doctrine or an FEC & FCC with teeth to regulate the amount and truthfulness of ads, and a lack of rules regulating the whole process, Obama has to get tough just to keep up.

And I agree that Obama & Co. should flip the script on ACA. (Clever word usage there). Why his staff of experts can't come up with this stuff is beyond me. But I have been yelling about this kind of situation for a long time. It's like yelling at the screen during a horror flick that has a plot line and ending that you have seen 10,000 before. Unfortunately the Obama folks can't hear me.

The ACA victory provides the Obama Admin another opportunity to explain the positive (already popular) provisions in the bill. It's almost like a free do-over. This would paint Repubs into a corner (because they have already vowed to repeal it). I say, call their bluff... show the public (through a better, much more aggressive PR and voter education campaign) exactly what the Repubs have already vowed to take away. Plus... educating the public on ACA... through a huge ad campaign.. would take Romney & Co. off their game... because they would have to answer ACA questions every week...and would be forced to walk back the repeal talk. It would be a mess for them. It would mean less time for them to trash Obama on the economy. Plus I would even tie ACA to middle class economics... reminding folks that it is an economic issue...while showing them how it would help them in real practical terms.

But it appears that the Democrats are going to blow this opportunity. It's hard to watch.

Brian E. said...

Thanks Rikyrah,

I've been reading the comments (been busy on my end).

Good point on the Pew study... I recall hearing about that a while back. But even with that... I think Obama & Co. could be better off with a more aggressive campaign. There are ways to overcome the imbalance in media coverage.... in fact, it's even more of a reason why he has to have better PR.... (also the reason why Progressives need their own media outlets, especially Cable. Repubs still control the airwaves for the most part). Annoyed at how lies can become fact, just by repeating them.

Unfortunately, most Americans don't start paying attention to the election season until late (after the Conventions). So there's only so much that could be done.

Economic Treason is the perfect way to describe what the GOP has been doing. But the Democrats are afraid (or incapable) of branding the situation accordingly. You and I should be members of O's Truth Squad.

Thanks for sharing SWOT...