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9:02 AM, Mar 9, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
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Matt Continetti, writing at the Washington Free Beacon:


"While the media cluck their tongues at social conservatives and obsess over the rather boring and predictable Republican primary, can we pause for a moment to observe just how panicked President Obama seems to be about his reelection?

"Obama may be leading his Republican contenders in head-to-head matchups. But the campaign will not truly begin until after the party conventions in September, which gives the GOP nominee time to recover. Obama’s approval rating is stuck below 50 percent, according to the Real Clear Politics polling average. His approval rating has been underwater in Gallup tracking since May of 2011. This is dangerous for an incumbent during the spring of a reelection year. And Obama’s approval rating in swing states is even worse. Last week’s USA Today / Gallup poll had him losing to both Romney and Santorum in the most competitive states.

"Nor are the headlines likely to improve. Gas prices keep ticking up. The Iranian nuclear program continues to go forward. The Greek economy continues to go backward.

"Since he lacks a significant and popular domestic achievement, the president seems to have concluded that the way to a second term is through the mobilization of key constituencies rather than a broad-based appeal to middle America. He combines these appeals with cheap gimmicks to generate publicity and deflect attention from the Republican primary. Now that his job is in trouble, the man who enthralled millions during the campaign of 2008 has been reduced to just another transactional political panderer. The gloss is off. Even the liberal Washington Post writer Dana Milbank says White House hiring practices make 'a joke of the spirit of reform he promised.'"

Whole thing here.

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