This graphic compares U.S. debt and deficit with the dysfunctional Eurozone economies. Interestingly, only Greece is worse than we are vis-a-vis the dual metrics on the chart. We tie with Ireland. Other than that, we are worse than all of industrial Europe. If our politicians across the political spectrum agree that our fiscal debt situation is unsustainable and potentially catastrophic, and they do, should this not be a critical issue in the presidential campaign?
In the 1992 presidential campaign, Jame Carville's motivational meme "It's the economy, stupid." perfectly encapsulated the key issue of the election. The beauty of the exhortation was that it focused the Clinton campaign staff on the one issue that could and would make a difference in the electoral outcome. He correctly identified the single most important issue on the minds of the electorate and it also exposed the single greatest weakness of the George HW Bush administration. The Bush campaign seemingly never understood what the election was really about. They touted foreign policy triumphs and their consequent lack of focus on the domestic economy reinforced the perception that President Bush was out of touch with American voters.
In every election since, campaign strategists, analysts, pundits and bloggers have attempted to reprise Carville's insight with a similar construct for the election at hand. Your loyal blogger is no exception. In 2006 and 2008 the Dividist was convinced the election was about one thing: "It's the war, stupid." True enough in 2006. Not so much in 2008. In 2008 "It's George Bush, stupid." was enough to win the election for Barack Obama. Even though GWB was not running, it was sufficient to tar McCain with that brush. The public sentiment was to punish GWB and the Party he rode in on. 2010 was a different story. In 2010 - "It's the spending, stupid." carried the day.
Which brings us to 2012. After winning a battle, generals are reluctant to abandon the very tactics that prevailed in a victorious campaign. Despite the setback in 2010, Axelrod and the Obama campaign strategists continue to fight that 2008 war in 2012. It's a mistake. Things have changed. Today there is a far greater awareness and focus on our profligate and unsustainable deficit spending.
Submitted for your consideration, the 2012 Carville election snowclone: