Obama’s Scandal is Late
According to research done by Brendan Nyhan, RWJ Scholar in Health Policy Research at the University of Michigan, and dated May 9, 2011 Obama is past due for a scandal. Brendan Nyhan shows that during 1977 and 2008 the longest that time that has passed before a scandal was published was Bush 43, which was 34 months.
Brendan Nyhan looks at the news cycle and polling data to arrive at a time for scandal probability, with approval among the opposition party a key indicator of risk. A scandal, as defined, has occurred when the Washington Post features it in a front-page article. What leads to this is demand for negative news because of unpopularity with the opposition party.
Nyhan states on Center for Politics “Going forward, though, the odds of scandal are high and rising. Obama already faces low approval among GOP identifiers and a similarly hostile climate in Congress. Back in March, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman noted that Republicans hadn’t yet made a serious effort to back up claims that the Obama White House is “one of the most corrupt administrations.” As more time passes, pressure to find evidence of misconduct is likely to build — my data suggest that the risk of scandal increases dramatically as the period without a scandal stretches beyond two years.”
Accordingly the forecast chart derived for Nyhan’s calculations show that the first quarter of 2012 Obama will be at a permanent peak and pending some change in indicators it will remain there until the scandal occurs. He theorizes that continued unrest in the Middle East and/or other events may have effect on the curve.
Obama nightmare could be a decreased news cycle, with reporters looking for something to publish. Somewhat ironic is that his salvation from a scandal lies in bad news; such as the Deepwater Horizon, Islamic radicals acting as they want democracy in the Middle-East, shootings, earthquakes and tsunamis. Nyhan also states that there is one other factor, albeit small but still a factor, “As the first black president, Obama may be treated less harshly by the press than some of his predecessors.”
Additionally, the birther movement has taken time and energy from the news cycle that could have brought about a scandal. With the probability of a slow news cycle over the summers months the odds will increase the likelihood that a scandal will break.