November 6, 2012


The Next President Is Lucky : Whoever wins the election will get to preside over a growing economy and look like a genius. (Matthew Yglesias, Nov. 5, 2012, Slate)

Partisans always prefer victory to defeat, but in retrospect some elections look like poisoned chalices. Jimmy Carter's narrow victory over Gerald Ford in 1976, for example, merely saddled the Democrats with the blame for economic problems that were global in scope and paved the way for Ronald Reagan's 1980 election. In 2004, Democrats were desperate to boot George W. Bush from office, but his second term wound up being uneventful in policy terms, and John Kerry's defeat allowed his party to duck a financial crisis that almost certainly would have come about one way or another.

While anything's possible, 2012 is shaping up to be the reverse kind of election: Whoever wins is poised to preside over a return to economic normalcy that's bound to make any kind of basically competent governance look fantastic compared to the last decade of misery.

If Mitt wins, the GOP gets all the credit.  If the UR holds on, he splits it with the Congressional GOP, as Clinton did.  Those are the stakes.
Posted by at November 6, 2012 4:39 AM

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