There's a lot we don't, and can't, know about who will be president this time next year, but "here's a fundamental fact of the 2012 presidential race," says Chris Cillizza at The Washington Post: "President Obama is cool. Mitt Romney isn't." Obama slow-jams the news with Jimmy Fallon and sinks three-pointers; Romney sings "Who let the dogs out" and "praises the height of trees." But while that may seem an obvious plus for Obama, Republicans have already started to use his "'coolness' and likeability as a weapon against him," says Jake Tapper at ABC News. Sure, "Romney will never be cooler," their argument goes, but "this election isn't about fun on Jimmy Fallon — it's about competence and jobs." Given the serious problems we face, will it even matter which candidate is cooler come November?
Bring on the boring, please: Romney isn't just square, he's possibly "the least hip presidential candidate since Nixon set foot on a beach," says Aaron Goldstein at The American Spectator. And I say, let's hire him. So he can't carry a tune? "We're voting for the next American president, not the next American idol." Obama gave us enough drama, finger-pointing, scandals, and trillion-dollar deficits to last a lifetime. "Four years of boredom is exactly what this country needs."
"The most boring man in the world"
Don't dismiss the cool factor: Look, "even Richard Nixon appeared on Laugh In," says Matt Lewis at The Daily Caller. And sure, voters could be looking for a "technocrat to fix the economy" instead of a rock star. But pitting President Cool against the GOP embodiment of The Man sure seems like "a PR/optics problem for Republicans." Not only does Romney end up looking like a PC next to Obama's Mac, he looks like last year's model. If Mitt picks a "milquetoast running mate," that seals the deal for Obama.
"The danger: Democrat vs. Republican becomes Mac vs. PC"
"Cool" won't be enough this time: The "cool" factor does matter, in that it's "actually a non-negligible element of the voting choice" for the much-courted millennials, says Alexandra Petri at The Washington Post. But while Obama is unquestionably cooler than Romney, he's not nearly as hip as Obama 2008, when voting hope-and-change was "mandatory." If the under-30 crowd gives Obama "the indifferent shrug" this year, he may very well "win the cool battle but lose the vote war."
"Obama, Jimmy Fallon, and the race for cool"