Just a little more than a year from the 2012 election, President Obama's strapped with a wrecked economy, an uncooperative Congress and plenty of competition from the GOP. But when it comes to good old campaigning, communication expert Peter Meyers says Obama still has the golden touch.
"We can focus on the message all we want, the election doesn't go to the candidate who's the smartest or even the most experienced," said Meyers, who has advised world leaders and politicians on how to use body language to influence their message. "It goes to the best communicator. Right now, in the White House, we've got a world class communicator. He is going to have to draw upon all of his skills, but he'd clock Rick Perry in a race."
Meyers compares Obama to former Presidents Clinton and Reagan as speakers, both of whom won re-election after a stumbling start.
He's not the only political adviser to suggest Obama's got it in the bag. Whispers recently reported that Allan Lichtman, the American University professor whose election formula has correctly called every president since Reagan's 1984 re-election, has Obama taking a second term.
Meyers doesn't totally discount the other candidates, but doesn't believe they have what it takes.
He admires Perry's presidential look, his ability to deliver memorable zingers like "Ponzi scheme" and his clear, simple answers to tough questions. Meyers even finds his deep voice appealing. Yet, he admonishes Perry's fashion sense and lack of poise when forced to speak off the cuff.
"He meanders mid-sentence and loses his way when someone kicks him off his talking points," Meyers says. "His collars are way to high on his neck; he looks like Catholic school boy, whose mother dressed him for church."
Mitt Romney doesn't fare much better. "He can obviously stay on point and hold his own with Rick Perry, but his voice gets stuck in his throat instead of coming from his chest, and he tends to sound like a 1970s game show host; it's inauthentic," says Meyers.
Meyers also points to Romney's stammer and rushed cadence as evidence of why he'd likely get trampled in a race against Obama. "He's a fair fighter, and he is polished, but he's almost like a community theater actor. When he makes a good point, you can see in his face that he's very pleased with himself."
Who does Meyers thinks might be able to knock Obama from his oratory pedestal?
"Newt Gingrich comes across as the best communicator the Republicans have got," he says, "It's a shame he doesn't get mentioned more. When Gingrich speaks you can hear the tone of both his intellect and his heart; it's like listening to a sleigh ride — very pleasant."