This presidential election is beginning to look a lot like the contest of 1996, which saw a battered Bill Clinton win a second term in office by defeating Republican Senator Bob Dole. There are differences, to be sure, but the similarities are striking.
Though still unlikely, Herman Cain's quick rise to the top of the GOP presidential candidate heap makes Cain versus Obama now at least thinkable. This head-to-head would give voters the sharpest contrast in living political memory.
Independents are just plain disgruntled. They're looking for solutions to basic problems.
Independents are also fickle, and vote irregularly, but they have decided most elections, even in San Francisco.
Michele Bachmann takes stands impulsively when they fit her predetermined ideology, pushes forward aggressively and single-mindedly to expand the intellectual argument, but she becomes so wedded to her position that reality no longer matters.
Americans need to elect a president in 2012 who is a self-made person with a track record of doing more than throwing empty words and money at problems. No more smooth-talking, self-serving presidents surrounded by Wall Street types and lobbyists.
The people trying to wake us up to the realities of global warming have taken to calling themselves "climate hawks." In the field of Republican presidential candidates, we are seeing a new breed emerge: climate chickens.
We should support the president in his reelection -- but we should do it strategically by arguing for conditions which will make his reelection more than a personal victory. 2012 should be about much more than giving Barack Obama his second term.
A president elected on the combined strength of dazzling oratory and improbable personal biography has proved more deft at saving his political career in times of great crisis, than crafting a bold vision of American democracy in the 21st century.
Last night's jobs speech by President Obama was the kind of political moment he needed. But I also fear it was also a gigantic bit of Kabuki theater -- a bold, promising vision destined to achieve very little.
If Sarah Palin could, as a third-party candidate in the 2012 election, draw anywhere close to Ross Perot's result in the 1992 presidential election, in which he obtained 18.9 percent of the popular vote, her reputation would remain solid.
Obama will have the resources to defend in the face of a Republican primary campaign which, as things look now, will likely devolve into a contest to see who can portray President Obama in the worst light.