Every country, every society in the world is different. Local conditions, local cultures, local factors usually dominate discussions about individual societies. Sometimes, with deeper lateral analysis, some patterns become discernible, patterns that transcend the obvious plethora of local differences. Identifying such patterns & analyzing them is what Global Macro is all about. The tradecraft of Global Macro teaches the art of seeing such patterns, hopefully before they are visible to most, deciding which nascent patterns are likely to emerge and following them as they turn into trends.
This tradecraft enabled us to notice the similarity between the approach of Governor Rick Perry of Texas and the pre-election approach of Prime Minister Modi of India. Not only are the two approaches similar but, as we noted, the electoral environment is also similar – unemployment or chronic under-employment, diminishing or stagnant incomes coupled with a steady rise in food prices, a debilitating sense that the country is going in the wrong direction. Recognition of this pattern prompted us, a few weeks ago, to declare Governor Perry as the most likely bet for 2016.
Our call was issued back on May 31, 2014. And we were virtually laughed out of the proverbial room. Not so today. Because this week, some political & media cognoscenti joined us. First Bill O’Reilly declared Governor Perry as “Mr. Obama’s primary adversary” on Thursday, July 10 and then, in his conversation with Laura Ingraham, called him the “front runner“.
Luck plays a great role in both political and military campaigns. That is why Napoleon preferred to have “lucky” generals on his side rather than “smart” generals. Think back to the Republican Convention in the first week of September 2008. Senator McCain led Senator Obama by 50% -46% on September 8, 2008. It was a tight race and was expected to remain so. A week later came the Lehman Bankruptcy. Panic seized Wall Street and every Wall Street Investment Bank teetered. The optics of Treasury Secretary Paulsen & Fed Chairman Bernanke begging the Congress for a $700 billion bailout frightened middle-income Americans, especially older Americans. Senator McCain showed he did not have a clue about the financial crisis while Senator Obama exuded intelligence and analytical competence.
Now think about the events of the past five weeks. The crowning foreign policy achievement of the Obama Administration, the successful end to the Iraq War, was shattered by the utter collapse of the US-trained Iraqi Army and the conquest of northwestern Iraq by an extremely extremist Jihadi force called ISIL. Then came the horrific mess on America’s southern border – tens of thousands of children arriving on America’s border from central American countries. This is both a humanitarian disaster as well as an implosion of US immigration policy. President Obama seems as clueless and paralyzed today as Senator McCain seemed after the Lehman Bankrupcy.
This crisis on America’s southern border is virtually tailor-made for Governor Perry. And he has risen to the occasion. Governors of Texas understand immigration better than other political leaders because they cannot win Texas without handling it competently. Governor Perry demonstrated his expertise and command of this topic in his discussions with Sean Hannity on Thursday, July 11. He invited Hannity to a briefing by his border patrol officers and took him on a helicopter tour & a patrol boat ride on the Rio Grande. We urge readers to watch the videoclip of this tour & discussion on the Foxnews website.
The crisis on the border, we think, is a simple and important issue that resonates with every American. It pits the humanitarian instincts of America against the rational preservation of American demographics. It pits the spirit of “give me your tired” against the sheer impossibility of absorbing millions of children from central America into USA. This is an issue that demands competence, experience and governing skills. It is an issue that showcases the best of Governor Perry against the worst of President Obama.
A Presidential campaign is a marathon, not a sprint. Like a long military campaign, it needs a smart, capable, and fast-reacting organization in every aspect of the campaign. The last two Republican campaigns were run by incompetent campaign managers with obsolete tactics & technology. As we wrote on May 31, 2014, “We have no idea whether he [Perry] can build a national election machine to target the various segments of the American electorate, whether he can create a Clinton-Modi type war room to respond quickly & effectively to deadly media attacks, or whether he can create an Obama-Modi type social media team to quickly & constantly reach large numbers of voters.”
We think the 2016 campaign will be run against President Obama’s tenure just as the 2008 campaign was run against President’ Bush tenure. That is why the candidate who is most anti-Obama, who seems most capable of delivering what Obama could not, is the candidate most likely to succeed. The candidate who best fits that profile today is Governor Perry, a man who doesn’t give rhetorically resplendent speeches, a man who simply delivers economic growth via competent government, a rooted American who wants America to get back to core Americanism than change America to fit the world.
Six weeks ago, we called Governor Perry as “the most interesting bet” for 2016. In Global Macro, you raise your bet when the markets side with your initial bet. Accordingly, today we upgrade Governor Perry to “the most credible bet” for 2016.
Editor’s PS: It is important to stress that we have no political affiliations whatsoever. We are centrists pure and simple. We tend to prefer “doers” than “talkers”. We adore Simplicity and we prefer Competence, ideally demonstrated competence via a track record. We are admirers of both President Reagan and President Clinton. Our focus on Governor Perry for 2016 stems entirely from our practice of Global Macro. Financial markets, military campaigns and political wars are all examples of human thoughts & actions and thus ideally examined via Global Macro.
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