The X Factor(s)!

A lot of my conservative friends are convinced that Mitt Romney is going to win come November.  More than a few think he’s going to win big.  Optimism is a good thing, and I hope it’s based on something more than wishful thinking.

You can’t tell much from the polls.  It’s too early for that.  Besides, one poll may say Romney is leading, then the next day another poll comes out and that one has the president heading for re-election.

At this point, the only thing we know for sure is that we don’t know very much for sure.  But I’ve compiled a short list – only 3 items are on it – of X Factors that could affect the election, if they pop up between now and Election Day. Here they are

            1.    The October (or maybe September) Surprise

You may have seen the TV ad Romney is running that says if he’s elected, on his first day in office, he’ll green light the FX pipeline project that the president has put on hold — and that, the ad says would create thousands of jobs for American workers.

But what if President Obama pulls a September or October surprise and approves the pipeline first?  What if whoever’s in charge of these things, changes the route by a foot and a half in an attempt to appease the environmentalists, and the president says, “Now I’m OK with this, let’s move ahead.”

Sure the green crowd wouldn’t like it, but by the time blue collar workers start laying pipe, the enviros will already have written checks to Mr. Obama’s re-election campaign – and then where will they go?  To Romney.  I don’t think so.

And yes, there’s a risk that the raw cynicism of the move might mean that some on the Left would sit out the election. But the president would likely win over lots of independents, who at the moment can’t figure out why he hasn’t already approved the pipeline project.

This alone wouldn’t spell victory for Barack Obama, but it could help him – a lot.

2.    The Sister Souljah Moment

For those of you too young to remember Sister Souljah, she was a black hip-hop artist and author some 20 years who didn’t like white people.  In the spring of 1992 Sister Souljah said in an interview: “If black people kill black people every day, why not have a week and kill white people.”  As if that wasn’t bad enough, she also said this in the music video of her song “The Final Solution: Slavery’s back in Effect”: If there are any good white people, I haven’t met them.”

Bill Clinton was running for president at the time, and while giving a speech to Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow Coalition he took a shot at Sister Souljah – right there in front of a black audience.  Clinton said, “If you took the words ‘white’ and ‘black’ and you reversed them, you might think David Duke was giving the speech.”

Clinton looked tough.  He conveyed the outrage of ordinary Americans.  And so the “Sister Souljah Moment” was born.

It could happen again.  Barack Obama would throw anybody under the bus in order to win re-election. So it’s not hard to imagine that if some prominent liberal loudmouth — even one prominently known for his support of the president — spouted off in a way that was especially dumb, you could see President Obama jumping ugly all over his loyal fan — and in doing so, win lots of friends among independents and undecideds.

That alone wouldn’t guarantee re-election, either.  But I think # 3 would.

3. The Nuclear Option

President Obama dumps Joe Biden and puts Hillary on the ticket.  I shudder to think that it might actually happen.

Nobody likes Biden and lots of independents and lots of women like Hillary. Would such a move late in the game look desperate?  Maybe.  But so what?  The upside is far, far greater than the downside.  This would be a real game changer.

To a large extent, it’s still the economy stupid.  And if it doesn’t get a lot better -real soon, this clearly would be a problem for the president.  But there’s always the chance that an X Factor will unexpectedly pop up and cause great turmoil.  This year there may even be 3 X Factors.

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  • Berryraymond

    Hillary is the trumph card.  She is being held in Obama’s back pocket perhaps until late August when the polls show Romney leading by 5% or more.  He doesn’t want to play this card but will do so if needed.  Feelings between Obama and the Clintons don’t matter.  The position of VP with a sure nomination and win in 2016 , would make her deal with the devil.  The big loss would be on Obama’s side.  The attention to Hillary, away from Obama would be great.  Obama could push more of the day to day duties onto Hillary.  He doesn’t like being President.  He would much rather play golf and watch his sports package on TV.  Not only is this the nuclear option, it is also one that I think has a more than 50% chance of being true.

  • Gerald

    Apppreciate your point of view. I am one of the few who believe Mrs. Clinton has a deep hatred of BO. He and his Chicago thugs beat up on her and Willy during the 2008 campaign. I think she accepted the Sec. of State job merely to stay in the limelight. Not because she had great admiration for BO. I would be shocked if she agreed to be on the ticket with a politician she deeply resents.  

  • Tim Ned

    In listening to Colin Powell over the past few days,  I propose another Nuclear possibility.  VP Candidate Powell on the Obama ticket.

  • Ellie

     One would think that the GOP couldn’t do worse than 2008 in picking a
    candidate, but they did. The republicans came up with
    about-to-be-nominee who in 1967 was hiding in France with draft
    deferment on religious ground at the time when John McCain was captured
    and tortured in Vietnam. Sarah Palin was able to raise a son willing to
    serve in the military during time of war. Mitt Romney failed five times
    at this task. This is the Commander-in-Chief the Republicans came up
    with in 2012

  • Wil

    Bernie, Would
    you tell your faithful followers, why Romney would make a better
    president? I’m still waiting…

    • 1LonesomeDove1

      He’s not a Marxist.

      • Brian_Bayless

        Neither is Obama, so try giving a reason that isnt hyperbole.

        • 1LonesomeDove1

          Obama believes in taking from those according to their means, and giving to those according to their need.

          Where does this come from? The Boy Scouts?

  • Kathie Ampela

    Violence by Occupiers at the DNC convention in Charlotte this summer might provide the “Sister Souljah” moment, Bernie. The drama of Obama throwing his base under the bus coupled with the nuclear option might push him across the finish line. It’s very risky for him though, Sugar Daddy Soros will not be pleased.  But if a Fox News poll put him at a 49% approval despite everything, what else can you say? Mitt Romney should be miles ahead of him but flyover America can’t be bothered with boring details.

  • dlr1953

    Good article Bernie:

    There are still a lot of people who approve of the job Obama is doing right now.  I just heard a Fox news poll last week that said 49% of people approve of the Job Obama is doing while only 43% disapprove.   If half of the country think Obama is doing a “GOOD” job,,, then democracy in this country is dead.  In order for a democracy to work you at least have to have an informed public with common sense.  Apparently we have neither.

  • Rick Johnson

    I find #3 interesting. Hillary would need to discern whether or not 4 years as VP would help or hurt her chances for election to President. I think her best chance may be by staying off the ticket.

    If The Platitudinal One has a great 2nd term, a Democrat has a good chance in ’16; and who better than Hillary (in her eyes). If a 2nd term is a failure, she wasn’t part of it and has a better, albeit, slim chance to win in ’16.

    Also, if she runs as VP this year and Romney wins; she is twice a loser and her career is done. If she stays off the ticket and Romney wins, she can hope his Presidency is a failure, giving her a chance in ’16.

    The only wildcard is if she feels her chances to reach President are virtually nil. In that case, her ego may drive her to want to be the first woman as Vice President and she’ll take her shot.

  • Cyberquill

    Barack Obama would throw anybody under the bus in order to win re-election, and Mitt Romney would strap anybody to the roof of his car in order to beat Obama. 

  • Dave Koffer

    I pray that Romney will win November!!….I hope he has good advisors!!

  • rbblum

    Romney would be a wise politician and considered a statesman IF he announced that he would serve but one term as US president . . . .The fiscal and monetary issues coupled with overregulations that are corrupting the current economic environment are so vast that a new administration would serve best for a sustained cleanup effort that should begin with a Romney administration.

  • brushfour

    As of now I have Romney winning 35- 36 states.   But the Hillary angle is the grand daddy game changer of them all.  Hillary has spent the last 4 years or more playing her cards right.  She has become one of the most popular figures in politics.  The Hillary option could absolutely turn the election to the Democrats.  I personally like Col. Allen West for VP, but come mid September you’re going to wish like hell that Romney had chosen Rubio if they jettison Biden for Hillary; not to mentiond that would set up Hillary for a possible 2016 win (which see seeks).  If they don’t bring in Hillary,..this thing is over.  The media seems to want to make it a close horserace, but it’s not.  Romney’s actually destroying Obama right now and is going to win all the Purple states and several Blue states.  Watch, New England and New York are going to be stunningly close and Romney may even pull and upset or two up there.

    • sendtheclunkerbacktochicago

      Obama is going to resign because of the biggest scandal of the century, the biggest Constitutional crisis of the century and the media missed it all, intentionally I might add (bias for those who are familiar with that word).   How is that for an October surprise.  That will send the Democrats scrambling for Hillary, they will crawl on their bellies through crap to get her to save the corrupt and evil party, as if she isn’t evil herself.  

      There are so many “October surprises” stacked up that they will have to begin now to get them all into the news cycle.  It needs to happen now before he has a chance to get on that Democrat ballot.  Our troops cannot hold up under this usurper’s command, he is on a mission to rip our military to pieces.  Can you imagine what this insane Marxist would be like in a lame duck session from November thru January 2013.  It would be hell on earth for all of us.

      The numbers are mounting quickly, people are beginning to pay attention to the media cover-up (conservative media included) and the Congressional cover-up.  They may be more angry at Congress than the media for now but they are beginning to recognize that Fox has sold out.  Even Mitt Romney may have just sold out, he is starting to look like Mr. Nice Guy John McCain on steroids.  Hell, even Karl Rove is buckling to the pressure from David Axelrod.  Isn’t that a damn shame??    

    • Robert

      Agree with you about Hillary. And, if the Dems see the election as close, they will not hesitate to dump Joe. 

      But, w/o Hillary, I disagree with your prediction that it is Romney in a cake walk. This class warfare angle has huge, huge traction for the Dems. And Romney’s perceived indifference to those less fortunate and stewardship of a private equity firm  — that cut off a lot of limbs of companies to save the body  — feeds right into it. 

      Just wait until you see some of the ads. . . 

  • Beniyyar

    Yeah Bernie, you make a couple of good points but Obama has shown far too often that he will stubbornly hold onto his positions no matter how damaging they are or how badly they seem to reflect on his judgement. But your last paragraph is probably the most important, it is the economy, unemployment, and the housing crisis, that has people worried, no terrified is a better description, and Obama has done abysmally bad in his handling of those issues. In fact, on Obama’s watch all of those problems have gotten worse especially unemployment among young American college graduates who were an essential part of Obama’s election in the first place. But you know what, I don’t believe that Obama really wants to be reelected because he hates the job of President. He like campaigning and being applauded and all the rest and he likes the honor and the perks of the job but he really hates the work of being President, that’s why he does such a bad job of it and why he is on vacation so much.

    • sendtheclunkerbacktochicago

      I dare Bernie  to walk right into Fox for his weekly segment with Bill O’Reilly and start talking about the Sheriff Joe Arpaio criminal investigation and the numerous Obama ballot challenges going on across the country.  There are two on appeal in NJ and Tennessee.  There is one in Arizona where the Secretary of State his refusing to allow Obama on their ballot.  There is one in Florida that is being headed up by the founder of Judicial Watch Larry Klayman, that is worthy of a discussion, right Bernie?  

      Grab the crotch of your pants, don’t fear the wrath of the cowering sniveling Bill O’Reilly, do the right thing and report the news for once.  Bring some high quality tires with you Bill Boy will spin the rubber off the ones he has if you go down that path.  He already hung himself out to dry on Obama’s Conn. SS# with an intentional lie.  He did it again with the absurd use of birth announcements to prove Obama was born in Hawaii.  Is this guy for real?  I am so looking forward to that segment. 

  • Drew Page

    There aren’t enough anti-depressants in America’s pharmacies to get us through another Obama term in office.   We can survive and repair the damage this man has done to our country and our economy, but I don’t know if we can survive the mentality of those that elected him in the first place.   This time around, Hope & Change takes on a whole new meaning.  If we don’t make a change in leadership, there is no hope.

  • Mary

    I think if Obama drops Biden, it won’t help him. The independents will see right through it. Clinton’s day in my opinion has come and gone. If people are stupid enough to fall for this ploy, then I give up, if this happens then the country that I love is worse off then I thought. Obama is still the President the VP doesn’t do much
    and I think Hillary doesn’t want to be in second place. I truly don’t believe that Hillary wants it. I think she is tired of all the politics. Now Bill is another animal,
    he loves the spotlight. God help America if  Obama gets a second term!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Janie Lyn Skelton

      I agree Mary…the past 3+ years have been ALL Obama…Biden hasn’t had a say in any decisions…can you believe that Biden is a bullet away from being the most powerful man on earth?…GOD help us!

  • Nancye

    If Obama pulls the pipeline trick in September or October, surely even the most stupid of libs would catch on – or would they?

    Obama would put Hillary on the ticket and throw Biden under the bus?  Huh?  Do ya think he’d do that?

    I really think Obama has pulled all the tricks out of his hat that he has.  He’s incompetent and we know it, but have his minions figured it out yet?  Or do they care? 

    • Dave O’Connor

      “If Obama pulls the pipeline trick in September or October, surely even the most stupid of libs would catch on – or would they?”
      Sure, they’d catch on, Nancye, but, their “Blutlust” for power is so poweful that “moral equivalency” would guide their actions. Like a defense used once upon a time in Nurnburg.

      • sendtheclunkerbacktochicago

        Whoever approves the pipeline, when it happen by KOG!!  It will be worth high 30 or 40s in quick time.  Ya can make some big bucks there.  

    • Vince Ricardo

      His “minions” couldn’t care less. They’ll vote for him no matter what. To be sure Obama would, at this point, gather in more wishy-was, er independent voters with H. Clinton than he would with Biden. Obama threw his father-figure, spiritual mentor Rev. Wright under the bus. Don’t ya think it’d be easier for Obama to toss Biden under the wheels?

  • Kevin McDonald

    Unless something changes, I see 2008 Obama supports sitting this one out. This is after a Saturday on the ground doing polling in Obama territory in Ohio.

  • GlenFS

    The pipeline approval has been planned for a long time.  They will take the re-route and say: see if not for me, those Republicans would have ruined Nebraska’s sacred aquafer… once again I managed to save the planet.  It’s always been political chess. The only consideration remaining is timing for best effect.

  • Vince Ricardo

    Clinton and Biden will swap jobs. Hillary will be in and Joe will save face. The only reason they haven’t done this already is because it smacks of desperation. There will be a time, however, where they WILL be desperate and then it’ll happen, probably right before the convention.

    • Drew Page

      In such a scenario Biden would most likely call a press conference and announce that he will not seek a second term as V.P. due to “personal reasons” such as spending more time with the family, health, etc.  He will deny any suggestion that he was asked to step aside in favor of HIllary.

      Who knows, maybe Mr. Obama has “evolved” after having played the “race card” the last time he ran against Hillary in the Democrat primary.  Perhaps they will kiss and make up on national TV.  I just hope it’s not around dinner time.

      • Vince Ricardo

        Agreed. Not dinner time, please. And, yeah, for personal ambition they’d kiss and make up every … single … time.

        For those who don’t think Hillary would “stoop” so low as to be Obama’s VP, think again. I agree that she wants no less than to be POTUS herself, but she certainly isn’t going to run for it this time, and what better position than to be in there already, poised for a run in 2016?

  • Paul Courtney

    Bernie:  Conservatives are not known for optimism, but maybe there’s something in the air.  For me, it looks good because, whatever surprise Axlerod is planning, there’s a pretty good chance D’s will bungle it so badly the press can’t hide it.  An example is the War on Women.  The first shot was K. Sebelius somehow persuading Obama (against others’ advice) to kick the sleeping dog Church. This fight could have easily been avoided while still ordering all other employers to provide “health care for women”.  This was a disaster, forcing them to argue it was a denial of “access to health care”, an argument they were losing until Rush came to the rescue.  Another example is gay marriage.  Was it planned, Biden comes out for it, Obama follows, funds are raised?  With most administrations (Clinton comes to mind), no doubt it would have been orchestrated.  But here, it was reported that Biden apologized, apparently this was what it appeared to be-Biden running his mouth right off the talking points, forcing the Pres. out.  I recall the press giving grudging respect to Bush Admin. discipline, the press hated how they “stayed on message”.  Maybe it’s Obama’s lack of experience or discipline, but D’s can’t seem to stay on message any better than they govern. 

    • Ted

      Interesting points.  Although Biden is quite a featherbrain, his appearance on a
      nationally televised program can’t be considered a casual occurrence.  It had a specific purpose and I’m
      convinced it was to drop that little bomb, part of a calculated move.  Certainly, he didn’t mastermind it.  It coincided with an Obama fundraising tour, so  I doubt it was specifically designed to gain votes.  That part of Obama’s base isn’t leaving his camp.  I guess you could argue they might have been staying home, though.

      • Paul Courtney

        Ted:  It does have aspects indicating calculation, but then why “leak” that Biden privately apologized?  Definitely Axelrod and others are calculating behind the curtain, but they seem to lose control along the way.  I don’t doubt Obama would dump The One Nobody Messes With, and if controlling the message is the goal, can’t do better than Hillary, but I believe she’ll say no.  She’ll ask herself, “do I need this for 2016?”

  • ConBelle

    The real choice is still Freedom vs Government control and getting out the vote. Freedom means a better economy for all Americans. We really need to fix our school system because leftist, progressive propaganda is rampant and ruining our country. Our children need to learn what made our country the best in the world….

  • Kathie Ampela

    I was passing through New Jersey yesterday and I noticed that gas prices have dropped. The lowest price I found was $3.43, down quite a bit from last winter. Right or wrong, Obama will take credit. Independents will see this as good news. The POTUS can control events and the news cycle from now until the election and he will do so. Iran wants Obama to win again; he did nothing to help the green movement and they think he is weak. Obama wants to put the issue off until after November, so unless Israel acts on it’s own the Iranian nuke problem will be put on the back burner away from the public eye. Gay marriage will be forgotten…class envy will be stoked…the October surprise Bernie mentioned would put him over the top. Not sure about the nuclear option. Hillary wants to run in 2016 and there’s no way to predict how the VP slot would play out for her four years from now. If  Obama’s second term is a disaster, she’s finished.

    • sendtheclunkerbacktochicago

      If Obama’s second term is a disaster!!!!    The first term was a nightmare the second would be horror show!!

  • RonKean

    If the President okays the pipeline, I think people will see that as naked pandering.  

    What I’m afraid of is that Soros and his associates will bid the stock market up to new heights and the President will take credit.

    I’m also concerned that if he bombs Iran he’ll look strong.  

    Like other charismatic figures people really love the President.  But I’m going to give the nation more credit and hope that the majority will see through his phony tricks.

  • EddieD_Boston

    My guess is Hillary hates Obama and the feelings go back go the ’08 primary.

    Plus, if Obama does lose it’ll set Hillary up for ’16 with a clean slate.

    As I’ve posted here before, Romney is non-threatening. He doesn’t have extreme views on anything and it’s independents who pick the president. Do you know ANYBODY, besides the looney fringe, who has confidence in Obama? Do you see a guy who looks, talks and acts like he knows what he’s doing?

    • Tim Ned

      You may be right Eddie but Hillary is definitely a Nuclear option.  If the polls continue to have Romney in the lead, an Obama – Hillary ticket is a marriage made in Heaven for the Democrats.  Four more years for Obama and 2016 for Bill and Hillary.  Regardless of their personal opinion of each other, they want the White House a whole lot more.  And the Clinton’s have a lot of support out there including independents.

  • Cyberquill

    Did Bernie Goldberg really write this post? Somehow it doesn’t sound like the other pieces of his I’ve read so far. 

    • Bernie

      Yup … all mine.  every word.

      • Cyberquill


      • sendtheclunkerbacktochicago

        Who the hell is Bernie??

  • Dave O’Connor

    I’m inclined to believe, that an October Surprise is expected (late October; considering the american attention span, but too short for them to give it reasonable consideration – even reasonable}.
    Playing the “Sis Bang” would work too. An he’d love to skewer a fat-cat-donor of his, or a belittle a staffer, mumble a four-letter word or two – just to prove he could. (“Gee, Archie! Yoo hear that? One of us.”)
    As for the nuclear option.  I am lacking in imagination there, as I believe he is capable of ranging from the absurd to the heinous in moments of desparation.
    The thin-skinned bruise easily and react with the celerity of vipers. And then they sliver away, never aknowledging their means; win or lose.

  • Robert

    The fact that Mr. Goldberg is worried about these “what ifs”  — as well he should be   — is more an indication of what a weak candidate Mr. Romney is. And he that  — a weak candidate. 

  • waterlylies84

    I pray none of these happen. I do see an addendum to #3 though; Obama doesn’t dump Bidden, (he might not want to look like a cad) but Bidden “decides” he needs to resign his position for “personal reasons” and Hillary is chosen to take his place. This is a huge political win/win for Obummer.

    • GlenFS

      Agree, they would need a plausible out for Biden and Hillary would need to be willing.

    • Ted

       I’m betting against a Biden-Hillary swap.  Ms. Clinton was available in 2008 when everyone said the Democrat ticket would be assured a victory, if she was the running mate.  Obama’s giant ego gambled with Old Joe, anyway.  I’m pretty sure the president’s mind hasn’t been altered. 

    • Dave O’Connor

      He can always show up as “senior statesman’.  You know, like the guy that was benched in the Thanksgiving game 20 – 30 years ago, but shows up for “HomeComing” still wearing his letter-jacket.