‘Luck of Obama’ never, ever quits
BY LAURA WASHINGTON LauraSWashington@aol.com October 1, 2012 7:24AM
Republican Alan Keyes, right, and Democrat Barack Obama, square off in the final debate in the race for a U.S. Senate seat from Illinois, Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2004, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Updated: November 2, 2012 6:10AM
Have you heard of the luck of the Irish?
That’s nothing, laddie, compared to the Luck of O’Bama.
Just five weeks to the Nov. 6 election, President Barack Obama is favored to cap an unlikely and charmed political career by being re-elected the 44th president of the United States.
Intellect and tenacity are certainly key elements in Obama’s rise, but the Luck of O’Bama is indisputable.
Not long ago, a second Obama term looked like a lost cause. When the 2012 presidential saga launched two years ago, many experts wrote him off. No sitting president could survive such dismal favorability ratings, they declared. An incumbent saddled with an 8 percent unemployment rate is doomed, they bleated.
They forgot about the Luck of O’Bama. The president doesn’t need shamrocks or leprechauns. He is his own lucky charm.
Last week, Jon Stewart, the comedian and canny political prognosticator, proclaimed, “Barack Obama is the luckiest dude on the planet.”
“In an ordinary election involving a stagnant economy, global unrest and a typical incumbent president would be at an enormous disadvantage . . . ,” Stewart declared Tuesday night on his Comedy Central show. “Normally, he would be in trouble, unless the incumbent president is running against. . . .
The video rolled to reveal former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney!
Romney is just the latest in a long, remarkable string of would-be Obama slayers, all vanquished by incompetence, arrogance, avarice, stupidity, ambition, naiveté or simple fate.
Take Alice Palmer, who reneged on a promise to back Obama when he sought to replace her in the Illinois State Senate. Obama ran anyway, won his first political office and earned a reputation as a pragmatic politician who would not wait his turn.
Former U.S. Sen. Carol Moseley Braun declined a bid to regain her old seat, giving Obama a clear shot at his natural base, minority and progressive voters.
In the 2004 Democratic primary, Obama was blessed with opponents like then-Illinois Comptroller Dan Hynes, the scion of a political family dynasty. Hynes was long on clout but short on charisma.
Blair Hull, the multimillionaire financier, was done in by nasty divorce papers in which his ex-wife claimed he kicked her in bed.
Jack Ryan, the promising GOP senate nominee, had to bail amid allegations that he forced his ex-wife to go to sex clubs.
That left former U.N. Ambassador Alan Keyes. Obama’s general-election opponent was an archconservative carpetbagger who fancied grandiose and nonsensical oratory. When you are lucky enough to run against an opponent like Keyes, the stars must be aligned in your firmament.
In the 2008 presidential race, Obama’s most formidable opponent made him sweat. The Clinton machine put Obama through a fiery gauntlet, hammering at his inexperience and big talk (“Change?” Really? ).
Hillary Clinton’s campaign was wrecked by mismanagement, infighting and hubris, but she was right. She sharpened Obama’s game.
Now it’s Romney’s turn to face the Luck of O’Bama.
Mitt, you’d better stock up on your four-leaf clovers.