Ten Things to Watch this Summer
1. Europe -- As Europe's debt crisis grows more troubling, it has the potential to dramatically impact the global economy, which could have ramifications for the President's reelection.
2. Unemployment -- It's cliché to say, but if America's unemployment number ticks below 8% (irrespective of whether the number has come down because people have stopped looking for work), that's a real positive for the President.
3. Iran – As sanctions get tougher the US has a squadron of stealth fighters that have been moved to within striking distance of Iran, and the Iranians recently seem to have become more "flexible" with UN inspectors.
4. Ohio -- Ohio may once again decide the 2012 election, and, surprisingly, the state's unemployment rate of 7.4% is far below the national average.
5. Budget Sequestration -- There is increasing rhetoric in the Congress around scaling back these automatic cuts to defense spending and Medicare, among other programs, but uncertainty will continue to surround these cuts into the lame duck session of Congress.
6. The "Bain" of Romney's Existence -- The President will do everything he can to make Romney look like a vulture capitalist.
7. Tea Party -- This faction of the Republican Party appears to be losing some traction, which ironically will make it easier for the Republicans in Congress to govern.
8. Price of Gas -- After a Spring spike, prices have come down.
9. Pakistan -- Tensions with the U.S. are flaring and the balance of power in South Asia is hanging in the balance.
10. The Stock Market -- If the market dips, that will bode negatively both as a sign of the U.S. recovery and psychologically in terms of the President's re-election prospects.