President Obama heads to the Midwest Tuesday after learning that Republicans may be going to the political prom with the ugly duckling candidate, Mitt Romney.

Following Romney’s extremely narrow victory over Rick Santorum in the Iowa caucuses in Des Moines, Obama, who will speak in Cleveland, is expected by many to face the former Massachusetts governor in the fight for Oval Office retention in November.

An Iowa victory does not guarantee Romney will win the GOP nomination. But the win there does generate important momentum as he rides into places such as New Hampshire and South Carolina. Republicans are not doing back flips over a Romney candidacy, which has thus far failed to capture the imagination of the tea party faithful and conservative wing of the party the way Santorum does — or even as Sarah Palin did so successfully four years ago.

If Obama wins the right to stay in the White House, pundits predict it will not be the route he enjoyed in 2008 when he defeated rival Sen. John McCain.

One reason — the GOP has done an effective job of trying to disenfranchise important portions of Obama’s voting base by passing laws that require government issued ID, eliminate same-day registration and require college students to vote in the town where their parents reside.

Other constituents, such as young people and gays, became disillusioned that Obama did not follow through on their agenda items with as much forcefulness as he pledged to during the campaign, if he did at all, making it difficult to maintain the 2012 push.

Furthermore, as uncivil as the discourse was during the 2008 elections, when Obama’s opponents focused on his name and birthplace, this year’s campaign season is expected to be worse. Anticipate an all-out bar room brawl — the political equivalent of a cage match, with Republican-backed PACs and Super PACs saturating cyberspace and the airwaves with all kinds of racially charged propaganda and misinformation against Obama. The politically incorrect epithets and disrespecT hurled at Obama at regular intervals during his first four years of office only served as a warm-up for what’s to come, and will further polarize an already fractionalized nation. –terry shropshire


Terry Shropshire

I'm a lover of words, pictures, people and The Ohio State Buckeyes. A true journalist from the soul.