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David Brooks On 2012 Field: Obama 'Beatable,' Gingrich Should 'Not Run A 7-Eleven'

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Would you be interested in hearing about what sorts of upper-middle-class feelings David Brooks is having about the 2012 election's field of candidates? Probably not, so click "close tab" and treat yourself to something special. But just in case you are, Gilbert Cruz of Time magazine has asked. Here are the basics.

President Barack Obama: "I would still give him a slight odds of being re-elected," Brooks said, "but he's definitely beatable," in 2012, because "the economy is not in great shape, and he has real problems in the Midwest," where Republicans have "done extraordinarily well." At least up until, say, yesterday!

Newt Gingrich: "I wouldn't let that guy run a 7-Eleven, let alone a country." Okay, but what if you wanted that 7-Eleven to break up several marriages?

Haley Barbour: It's not included in the video, but the Reliable Source quotes Brooks as saying that Barbour looked "'too much like the guy Michael Moore would cast' as a Southern governor." Uhm ... not to nitpick, but Haley Barbour isn't just someone Michael Moore would cast as a Southern governor, that's literally what Haley Barbour is.

Who he likes: "Mitt Romney, Mitch Daniels, Tim Pawlenty ... I think those are the three." This is a reminder that David Brooks gets his kicks above the Mason-Dixon Line, sunshine.

"I'm not sure there's a huge number of great candidates," Brooks said. "Of the weaknesses that Obama has, the one strength that he has, so far, is what looks like the weakness of the Republican field."

For more, see below. Brooks' new book, The Social Animal, is on the shelves now, along with his bracing anthropological studies of people who like granite countertops and artisanal cheese.

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10 Questions for Columnist David Brooks [Time]

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