Of course, the election is over one year away, not all of the possible Republican candidates have officially declared their intentions, and the direction of the economy remains to be seen. But CNN apparently thought it fitting to ask the experts if the 2012 election is all but decided.
"Gas prices may finally be going down. The report last week shows jobs were added to the economy, and, of course, Osama bin Laden is dead. Does this make Barack Obama unbeatable in the upcoming election?" Costello asked the panel. All three respondents briskly dismissed the assumption.
Dana Loesch, a conservative radio show host and editor-in-chief of Big Journalism, pointed out that the job market's growth is still quite fragile and could just as easily shrink and hurt Obama's chances. Liberal CNN contributor Roland Martin not only agreed with Loesch that Obama is not unbeatable, but cast the idea as "crazy."
"Look, here's the deal. 1991, President George H.W. Bush had an approval rating near 90 percent. A year later, he was packing," Martin said. "The economy was the issue in 1992. It will be the issue in 2012....So it's nuts to say [Obama] is unbeatable."
NPR game show host Peter Sagal, also dismissing the notion of Obama's invincibility, quipped that "President Obama is going to have to shoot some more guys if he wants to maintain his popularity."
A transcript of the segment, which aired on May 9 at 10:33 a.m. EDT, is as follows:
CAROL COSTELLO: OK. Last question, gas prices may finally be going down. The report last week shows jobs were added to the economy, and, of course, Osama bin Laden is dead. Does this make Barack Obama unbeatable in the coming election?
DANA LOESCH, CNN contributor: Oh, I think it would be really dangerous for Democrats to buy into the "unbeatable" idea. And we have to remember, too, that unemployment actually climbed back to 9 percent just in April. And I think, what, one-third of those jobs were added by McDonald's, which is fine, but we have to look where our job market is going as well.
I don't think that the president is unbeatable. I think it's going to be a little difficult for him, considering such a certified -
COSTELLO: Out of time. Out of time. Have to wrap it up. Dana, sorry.
Twenty seconds. Roland?
ROLAND MARTIN, CNN contributor: I'll tell you what, Dana. If you have no job, you don't mind a McDonald's job. Look, here's the deal. 1991, President George H.W. Bush had an approval rating near 90 percent. A year later, he was packing. So, it would be crazy for anyone to assume that President Barack Obama is unbeatable.
The economy was the issue in 1992. It will be the issue in 2012. And so, that's what the focus will be. So, it's nuts to say he's unbeatable.
COSTELLO: Out of time. Peter?
PETER SAGAL, NPR host: Well, it is true that 18 months, however long it is to the next election, is an eternity in politics. So, yes, I think President Obama is going to have to shoot some more guys if he wants to maintain his popularity. I think that guy John from "John and Kate Plus Eight" is pretty unpopular. You could try him, or his jokes about Donald Trump worked well. Maybe SEAL team.
- Matt Hadro is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center.