President Barack Obama and his team may be hoping that this election cycle looks a lot like 2004 — when President George W. Bush was narrowly reelected despite leading the country into two increasingly unpopular wars. But Mitt Romney should be looking to 1992 — when Bill Clinton beat a sitting president, despite his own party’s misgivings about him during a long, contentious primary season.
Last week, The New York Times’s Richard W. Stevenson wrote that parallels between 2004 and 2012 are “sufficient enough that President Obama and his team have studied, and to a striking degree are replicating, the Bush reelection playbook.” That year, Bush’s message was that he was the steadfast incumbent, who made necessary, if unpopular, decisions in the nation’s best interest, while his opponent, Sen. John Kerry, lacked core convictions and would do whatever it took to win. Armed with a huge war chest and helped by independent groups willing to make the fight personal against Kerry, Bush won by a whisker.
But if Romney is indeed the nominee, 1992 may prove more instructive. That year, President George H.W. Bush, who had once looked unbeatable, was suddenly vulnerable — as perceptions that the economy was weak and that he was out of touch with the concerns of ordinary Americans took hold.
Source Link: politico.com