Carter:Bush, Reagan:Obama, Clinton:???

Whimsical pondering on politics tonight.

The Conscience of a Liberal has had more of an impact on me than I thought.

Let’s assume for a second that Carter was an unmitigated disaster, leading to an opening for a conservative rebirth with a Reagan presidency.  After all, before Carter, Reagan couldn’t even beat Ford for the nomination.

Let’s assume for a second that Bush (W) was an unmitigated disaster, leading to an opening for a liberal rebirth with an Obama presidency.

What might that tell us about 2012, 2016, 2020?

If the pattern repeats, inverted:

  • We’ll have a very hard 2009/2010 economically
  • Bernanke = Volker, and is kept by Obama for stability.
  • We’d see limited military actions in 2011
  • By 2012 it will be morning in America again
  • Obama will over-reach with his liberal tax/spend plans, but will rebalance in 2nd term
  • Obama will be followed by 1-term me-too candidate in 2016
  • We’d see a significant new military engagement/war in 2018-9
  • 2020 will see a fragmentation of the electorate, generating a third party candidate with some form of populist message (Perot analog).  This allows a centrist Republican (Clinton analog) to take office.

People want to map Obama to FDR or JFK.  But the parallels to Reagan, inverted, seem stronger.  The complete humiliation of Mondale in 1984 seems likely to repeat for Republicans in 2012 if they don’t adjust, and it seems like this election will be close enought that conservatives will argue McCain wasn’t conservative enough.   It’s only complete, abject humiliation ala-1984 and 1988 that makes a party redirect.

The pattern can’t be perfect, since Reagan had to deal with a Democratic Congress throughout his Presidency.  Obama is getting the Clinton 1992 situation with one party rule (similar to the Bush 2000 situation… yes, it’s not a good pattern historically).

Of course, I’ve also been known to muse about a Chelsea Clinton candidacy in 2020, since she has many of her father and mother’s best traits, without the baggage.

2 thoughts on “Carter:Bush, Reagan:Obama, Clinton:???

  1. Adam – Just wanted to mention that this is one of the most thoughtful and well-written personal blogs I’ve chanced upon in quite some time. Please keep up the great posts!

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