December 16, 2010
By Lee-Anne Goodman
The Canadian Press
WASHINGTON - For Barack Obama, 2011 may at least provide some respite from a year-long litany of misery for the White House, culminating in a mid-term election "shellacking" and ending with the president locked in an unusual showdown with the furious and disillusioned lawmakers of his own party.
The year ahead will see focus shifting to the battle for the Republican presidential election, a spectacle that promises to be every bit as bare-knuckled and bloody as Obama's own primary brawls against Hillary Clinton, the one-time political foe who's now one of his most trusted cabinet secretaries. . . .
"We've been watching Palin, with very little experience, and Obama, with limited experience, and things haven't always gone so smoothly for either one of them," Cal Jillson, a political scientist at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, said in a recent interview.
"Many Americans will want someone like a Mitt Romney, where they can see the relevant credentials. With Palin and Obama lacking long and credible national experience, some people will be very reluctant to go that route again. I don't expect Marco Rubio to emerge as a candidate for the nomination, but he'll be everyone's pick for vice-president." . . .
"The big question is whether Obama can restore his credibility among the moderate, independent voters who swing back and forth between the Democrats and the Republicans," Jillson said.
"He won them big in 2008, lost them big in 2010, and so now we'll see him take certain positions, like he did with the tax-cut deal, to show them that he's a centrist. Can he win back the middle and therefore restore his momentum going into the presidential election campaign?"
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