Gene Schwimmer thinks so:

“Barack Obama is a one-term president. If present trends continue, the next president will be a Republican. Mitt Romney, Scott Brown, your Aunt Petunia.

Or Sarah Palin. Whoever the Republicans nominate in 2012 becomes president in 2013. And that’s the key word: “Republicans.” Whoever the Republicans nominate.”

In my opinion, this is absolutely not true. There are very, very few Republicans who can defeat Obama that I know of. Mitt Romney hasn’t got a chance. However, it might comfort Schwimmer to hear that Sarah Palin has by far the best shot at defeating Obama. (Scott Brown also has a slim shot, but I don’t think he’s conservative enough for the base.)

Obama is a two-term President unless the economy stays at this level of unemployment or worse and  Palin gets the Republican nomination. As I see it, if the economy is still bad and Obama is up against Romney or someone like that, Obama’s charisma will enable him to make everyone forget about real issues. Likewise, if the economy improves much at all (as I expect it to) and Palin is the nominee, Obama and Palin will cancel out each other’s charisma, and Obama’s edge in experience will enable him to win.

Their battle has already made for a weird ad, but how are the non-charismatic three doing lately?

Well, apparently, they’re busy arguing over who will do what to Israel. It seems to me that this is unlikely to be an important issue with the voters of California, given the shape it’s in, but maybe I’m wrong.

In any case, this is what happens when there is no charismatic or anti-charismatic candidate in an election for everyone to love or hate. (This is the majority of elections, by the way.) They just sort of meander from issue to issue, scandal to scandal, and external factors determine the election.

In my last post, I mentioned Marco Rubio and this idea that he is the Republican’s answer to Obama. Having watched his CPAC speech, I have to say I’m not terribly impressed. Sure, he’s sort of good-looking and fairly witty, but he doesn’t seem to have that intangible charisma that Obama, Clinton and Reagan all do. He sounded–and this is my opinion only–sort of whiny and weak. He seemed, at times, like he was whimpering.

Still, I wouldn’t write him off on the basis of this one speech, and he has many good qualities, but I just don’t see him as capable of going up against Obama.

McCain is getting Sarah Palin to help him out  in his campaign for reelection. McCain,we know, has no charisma, but neither does his opponent, J.D. Hayworth. Could Palin’s charisma be a factor in the Maverick’s favor?

I doubt it. Charisma doesn’t seem to be transferable. I wrote back in January: “Oddly, however, you can’t lend your charisma to someone else by means of an endorsement. Obama’s campaigning for Creigh Deeds is proof of this. Having someone charismatic testify on your behalf just… doesn’t seem to work.”

Add Obama’s endorsement of Martha Coakley to the list of examples showing this doesn’t work.

Okay, that might be an overstatement. But you have to love his line “There’s obviously an incumbent protection racket in D.C.”
For those of you who don’t know, Romanoff is more charismatic than his primary opponent, Michael Bennet. And now we find that he is capable of getting off clever quips, which is also important to winning.

The Tea Party is looking for people to run against Ron Paul in the Republican primary. And the reason they are doing this is that “he’s unwilling to work with others, and people are unwilling to work with him, and so we have no voice in Congress.” according to Tim Graney.

I think skepticism of leaders is a good thing, but Paul is such an icon that he may be worth keeping around for the sake of what he represents to the movement.

Incidentally, the Fox news article calls Paul “the model of the grassroots-backed conservative.”

(With apologies to Gilbert and Sullivan):

“I am the very model of grassroots-backed Conservative,

I’m endeavoring to act as Liberty’s preservative.

I am very,very big on individual autonomy,

I quote Objectivists and Austrians discussing the economy.”