Failed Incumbent vs. Unelectable Challenger?

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In a new column for the FT, I review the uninspiring prospect of the 2012 election.

At this rate, the US presidential election of 2012 promises to be a titanic struggle between a failed incumbent and an unelectable challenger. With the election bearing down - less than two years to go - Barack Obama hit the campaign trail last week, ostensibly talking about the budget but in reality market-testing his anti-Republican message. Republicans have been slower off the mark and will need to get a move on, but the delay is understandable. They have so many weak candidates to choose from.

Here is where I wind up:


In last November's elections, the Republican rank and file threw control of the Senate away by ejecting strong candidates and nominating duds they knew might lose. They did it with pride: they had a point to make. Will they adopt the same approach in 2012 and proudly hand victory to a beatable Mr Obama? They are thinking about it.
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Clive Crook is a senior editor of The Atlantic and a columnist for Bloomberg View. He was the Washington columnist for the Financial Times, and before that worked at The Economist for more than 20 years, including 11 years as deputy editor. Crook writes about the intersection of politics and economics. More

Crook writes about the intersection of politics and economics.

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