President Barack Obama’s presidency began with so much promise. I remember writing six years ago that this could be the golden Age of Augustus in the modern world referring to that period of time when Caesar Augustus stabilized Rome after toxic years of Civil War had crippled the greatest city in the world.
Augustus and his sidekick, trusted general and best friend, Marcus Agrippa, set Rome on a course that made the Imperial city the greatest empire of antiquity. In fact they established what was known as the Pax Romana (Roman Peace) which lasted 500 years.
Surely campaign wiz David Axelrod playing the role of Agrippa, would do the same for Obama?
The president rode a wave of hope all the way to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue by weaving a titular tapestry of black, white, brown and red into office. From coast to coast and many places in between there was the dawning of a new day in America from the heartland to the hills.
Then came the turbulence! Then came the planned congressional obscene obstruction after Democrats lost the House! Then came the smear campaigns! Then came this and then came that and then came more of this and more of that!
President Obama’s approval ratings have taken a nosedive and like so many presidents who win a second term, he is seen more as a liability to Senate candidates and as a result he cannot hit the campaign trail with them in states like Georgia, North Carolina, Kentucky and Louisiana.
The stakes are high next Tuesday. In fact we will most likely know if the U. S. Senate falls into Republican control when the sun comes up on next Wednesday morning.
Republican senate control would heavily handicap the final two years of Mr. Obama’s presidency. For the first time since he took the oath of office, Repubs will control both congressional chambers and previous years of obstruction will be mild compared to the madness that we will see come January 2015.
The president’s polices will be vulnerable to ultra-conservative railroading. Supreme Court aand other judicial appointments will be in jeopardy. The middle class will see unheard of attacks. Women’s rights will be ravaged. Minorities will be miserable. Immigration will not stand a chance. And the beat goes on.
Poll after national poll gives the Repubs the edge in taking back the upper chamber of Congress with them only needing to flip 6 seats as their path to a majority.
Yet, polls do not vote. Voters vote. Talk of the president’s and the Democrats senatorial demise might be premature for several reasons.
1. While the president cannot campaign in some of the states that are razor thin in polling, he has been on the phone chasing and raising dollars.
2. While the president is largely absent from the campaign trail, President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are ripping and running up and down the campaign trail with a fire and fervency that is stirring up the electorate. President Clinton’s approval rating is higher than any living president. In fact he and Pope Francis have the identical approval rating of 55%! Clinton is the Democrat’s BEST friend right about now. He can rally the troops. Can he change some voter’s minds? We will know by next Wednesday.
3. Wins in three unlikely states could very well save Obama’s last two years while simultaneously allowing Harry Reid to remain the Senate Majority Leader.
Let’s analyze those states.
When I was a kid growing up in Washington, Georgia, my fondest memory of Kansas was from the Wizard of Oz. That’s where Dorothy and Toto were from before that had to follow the yellow brick road in the land of Oz. Dorothy and her dog were transported to Oz via a tornado.
A new tornado is raging in the blood red state of Kansas. Republican Senator Pat Roberts is trailing Independent candidate Greg Orman. Should Orman win, this would be a major coup. Carl Rove and his political minions are pumping money into that race quicker than a Vegas card dealer in a $1000 hand baccarat pit. To say that they are nervous about losing Kansas would be a huge understatement.
Ray Charles used to sing:
The whole day through (the whole day through)
Just an old sweet song
Keeps Georgia on my mind (Georgia on my mind)
Well Georgia is on the mind of both political parties. Again, we have a state that used to be a cinch for Repubs but Michelle Nunn, daughter of the legendary U. S. Senator Sam Nunn, has maintained slim leads over Republican nominee David Perdue in the race for the open seat. Bill Clinton has Georgia on his mind and will be in my city on Saturday to stomp for Ms. Nunn.
Then there is Kentucky which also prides itself as a Republican safe haven. Yet, the man who would be the new Senate Majority Leader if his party picks up the needed six seats, Mitch McConnell, finds himself in the fight of his political life with Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes. Yes, both Clintons have been to the Bluegrass State to campaign for Grimes.
This is a great path for Democrats to keep control of the Senate and thus save the last two years of Obama’s presidency.
Also, if Democrats can keep the political damns from breaking in Louisiana, North Carolina and Alaska, then democratic chairmen can keep their gavels.
“Tip” O’Neal, one of the most powerful Speakers of the House in American history once said, “All politics are local.”
Next Tuesday the locals will decide the balance of power in the United States Senate. One party will love the locals and one party will loathe the locals.