The Washington Post

This week wasn't that bad for Obama

Well, well, Ed, I don't see the week so far through such a dark glass for President Obama. First, to repeat: We are either going to have a very close election where one side wins by such a small margin that Justice Scalia may have to see if he can find a precedent somewhere in that Bush v. Gore decision, or Mitt Romney will win comfortably. The latter scenario results from the inherent fragility of our economy and our world: One more big shock could sink Obama.

But let's assume, for now, what has been predicted all along: a close election. Ed cites a bad Florida poll for Obama; here is a better one that shows Obama leading. My prediction? Obama decides he can win without Florida. That makes things much harder, but the Obama campaign has several electoral-map scenarios where it adds up.

Two, the Catholic Church vs. Obamacare turns out not to be so clear-cut either. Read E.J. Dionne as a counterpoint to Michael Gerson. E.J. argues that, in the mind of some bishops, the church’s lawsuit against the Obama administration over its compromise provision that Catholic hospitals and charities must cover contraception in most instances is politically motivated.

Nothing wrong other than that, I guess, but it’s interesting that most dioceses did not join the lawsuit. The Catholic vote is important, of course, and Gerson is right that, while it is not monolithic, some small percentage could vote against the president on this issue — despite all the other issues swirling about. And small percentages matter. (See Bush vs. Gore.) But I might argue that an equally small percentage of Catholics and non-Catholics might vote for Obama on this issue as a signal of their frustration with the very conservative and activist wing of the church.

Finally on Facebook: I told Ed not to buy that stock!


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