End-of-the-year political assessments shadow the arrival of the New Year such as Helen Thomas dogs Robert Gibbs. Giving a nod to our man Mitt, The Economist dubs Mitt Romney the presidential frontrunner for the Republican nomination 2012:
• Dec 31st 2009 – The Economist | NEW YORK
WE ARE hours away from ringing in the new year, and most Americans will be happy to leave 2009 behind. Only 46% of respondents in our latest poll described 2009 as a good year, and the reasons are obvious: unemployment is hovering around 10%, whole cities are collapsing, America is still mired in two seemingly endless wars, and the threat of terrorism persists. So what of the politicians who are supposed to deal with these problems? How did they fare in 2009? “Not well” would be the obvious answer, but I’ve asked my colleagues to consider who (or what) were the biggest winners and losers of the year. Here’s what they had to say:
New York: In a year when the unemployment rate rose by nearly three percentage points, there can be few winners. On the Republican side, Mitt Romney earns points simply for not being Bobby Jindal, Mark Sanford, Mike Huckabee or Sarah Palin, all of whom had missteps in 2009 (though Ms Palin could just as easily be called a winner since her love/hate numbers seem to rise in tandem). It’s still some way off, but Mr. Romney now seems the frontrunner for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.