All U.S. presidential elections “are unique in some fashion,” says John G. Geer, a political science professor at Vanderbilt University. Sure, but what about 2012? What exactly will make the 2012 election between President Obama and Mitt Romney truly unique? For one thing, though the candidates have many similarities, as noted by NPR and The New York Times, there is a clear-cut choice between directions the country might take. And there are other — what shall we call them? — uniquities. Carol S. Weissert, director of the LeRoy Collins Institute — a nonpartisan public policy think tank in Tallahassee, Fla. — points out that the presidential election in November will be the first since the 2010 Citizens United Supreme Court opinion that opened the barn door to unregulated spending in all political campaigns — but especially presidential campaigns.
Volunteers unfurl a banner with the Preamble to the Constitution during a demonstration against the Supreme Court’sCitizens United ruling on campaign finance rules at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., Oct. 20, 2010. “We’re seeing some glimpses of what unregulated spending is doing in the Wisconsin recall,” Weissert says, “but we haven’t seen anything yet.” And, she says, it’ll be the first election during a time when our country’s economic well-being is linked in large part with Europe’s economy. “If the eurozone collapses — or maybe when,” Weissert says, “this will shake the core of our economy and affect the presidential election. And there is little we can do about it but watch.”
The 2012 election, says Caroline Tolbert, a political science professor at the University of Iowa, will be sui generis in several ways. Never before has this country seen an African-American incumbent president run for re-election, she says. And never before has there been a major party nominee who was a Mormon.
Full Article: The Uniqueness Of The 2012 Election : Its All Politics : NPR.