The words attributed, by some, to the late British PM, Harold McMillan, when asked by a journalist what could blow a government off course.
I wonder what events, predictable or unpredictable, will beset the respective campaigns of Messrs Obama and Romney?
First, some predictable events:-
- The Supreme Court decision on Obamacare – due in July
- An Israeli strike on Iran and possibly Lebanon
- The collapse of the European Union
- Continued deterioration of the American economy – particularly employment.
- Stalling of the Brazilian, Indian and Chinese economies
Second, some unpredictable:-
- A successful attempt on the life of Obama by Pakistan based Islamists, incensed at his public gloating about ‘murder by drone.’
- An 8.5 Richter scale earthquake in Los Angeles – death toll 20,000 plus.
- A ‘dirty bomb’ explodes in New York.
- An aggressive play by Russia on one or more of its neighbours
Any one of these, apart from a successful assassination attempt or the SCOTUS decision, will give the incumbent the best opportunity to capitalize and, perversely, present the greatest risk of being seen to be bereft of genuine leadership qualities.
I think this incumbent will be praying he is not put to the test. Let’s face it, could you imagine Rudi Giuliani using a teleprompter on September the 11th?