In an appearance on Ricochet.com’s Thursday podcast promoting the re-release of his book “Intellectuals and Society,” Hoover Institution senior fellow Thomas Sowell said he had some concerns about the prospects of the current Republican presidential field unseating President Barack Obama in November.
Sowell told podcast co-host Peter Robinson that he was pessimistic. (RELATED: Full coverage of the 2012 campaign)
“[I'm] in fear and trembling because I have this terrible feeling that they’re going to end up giving this election to Barack Obama,” Sowell said. “And I cannot imagine what this country will be like after a second term for Obama, after he has had a chance to pack the Supreme Court with his own nominees who will rubber-stamp anything he does regardless of how much it may violate the Constitution.”
“He is an extremely clever politician. He knows that one of the ways to get votes is to simply create dependencies. And he’s doing it all over the place and no one seems to be calling him on it. Most recent thing I heard is he’s going to bail out housing speculators who are one of the reasons for the boom and bust in the housing market. But the point is those are the people who are going to vote for him.”
Sowell urged Republicans not to expect the beleaguered economy to be the key to electoral success in November. He pointed to former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s run of victories, despite the Great Depression.
“I hear others taking comfort in the notion that the bad economy will defeat Obama,” he said. “It will not. A far worse economy did not defeat Franklin D. Roosevelt. He swept 46 out of 48 states. After his first [term], in which unemployment never fell as low — even for a single month — as twice what it had been under Obama, he understood that if you came to the rescue of people they were likely to vote for you. Never mind that it may be your own policies that made it necessary for them to need a rescue.”
Sowell explained later why having a Republican nominee who wasn’t a “cult” figure like Obama was a net positive.
“I think the fact that we don’t have a glorious leader is a plus,” he said. “It means there will be a far less chance of having a cult of a leader that we’ve had the last few years, and such as we have had in the past with people like [John F.] Kennedy and FDR. We don’t need that.”