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John Culleton: Lucky falls in favor of Obama

For politicians it is better to be lucky than smart, but our president has been both. As a result he is very likely to be re-elected.

His luck has shown itself in his choice of opponents. He was elected as senator with his opponent the extremist Alan Keyes, who was imported from Maryland in a vain attempt to peel off black voters. It didn't work.

In the 2008 presidential primary the hawkish Hillary Clinton was defeated by the more doveish Barack Obama. Once elected, he followed a hawkish policy in Afghanistan and selected Clinton as his Secretary of State.

His Republican opponents in 2008 and now in 2012 are moderates forced into extreme positions to satisfy the worst components of the Republican base. Both chose base-satisfying vice presidential candidates. But the honorable side of John McCain would not allow him to go along with the lies spread about Obama's ancestry, and similarly, in unguarded moments Mitt Romney goes off script and admits that there are features in the Affordable Care Act he would keep if elected.

When I predicted on Aug. 9 that the re-election of President Obama was almost certain there were cries of disdain from my fellow Carroll County citizens on the far right. But now the down-ticket Republican candidates are trying to distance themselves from Romney, because they think he will lose, just as I do.

The first presidential debate will occur on Wednesday. Most observers agree that Romney will have to score a victory to salvage his campaign. But both parties are downplaying their own candidates in advance. The negative expectations game is on full throttle. We the audience can ignore all that and make up our own minds on Wednesday night.

Faced with polls showing the president ahead in all nine swing states Republican spokesmen have come up with a new conspiracy theory. They state that the "liberal media" are skewing the poll results to discourage Republican voters from voting. However when Fox News conducts a poll the numbers may shift slightly but they still show Obama ahead in most swing states. So, Fox News, welcome to membership in the liberal media. The Baltimore Examiner accuses Fox of oversampling Democrats. Will wonders never cease? The fact is that many former Republicans are now listing themselves as independents.

There is of course a bit of irony here because there is a genuine attempt to suppress Democratic votes. No less than 16 states with Republican state houses have passed new voter ID laws and/or purged voter rolls in an attempt to prevent or discourage Democrats from voting. The curtailment of early voting, especially on the Sunday before the election, is another attempt to reduce the votes for Democratic candidates. Historically black churches have bused their congregants to the polls after services on that Sunday.

Once again I predict an Obama victory, and a thin Democratic majority in the Senate. The remaining question is the composition of the House of Representatives. If the Republicans win the House, then political gridlock is likely to continue. If the Republicans win both houses and the presidency, (not likely) then there will be a new gridlock, between the tea party and a president whose instincts are more moderate then he lets on.

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