WASHINGTON — The U.S. economy seems to be on the mend and, barring unforeseen developments, Barack Obama appears to be the favorite to win the 2012 presidential election.

Ron Insana, a senior analyst for CNBC, shared those views earlier this week here at the 2011 annual meeting of the Association for Advanced Life Underwriting (AALU), Reston, Va.

“We do face some political risks, some of which are economic,” Insana said. “We Obamahave more tailwinds than we have headwinds. Despite the glitch we saw in first quarter GDP, the U.S. economy is in relatively good shape.”

“Barring a double-dip recession or a real problem in geopolitical terms, the president has the upper hand. Effectively, the campaign is his to lose. The Republicans have yet to field a candidate who I think would pose a serious challenge.”

Insana said Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke deserves a good measure of credit for bringing the United States back from the brink during the 2008 financial crisis. He argued that Bernanke is a student of the Great Depression who implemented “extraordinarily enlightened policies” and should be applauded for his “heroic efforts.”

Insana said his own theme for 2011 and beyond is that “there is no place like home,” because the U.S. economy now looks to better positioned for growth than developed and emerging market economies. He believes China, India, Brazil, Australia and Europe now all are facing issues that could crimp their economies.

“We are, in absolute and relative terms, the best place around as far as [economic] opportunity goes,” Insana said. “Detroit [auto makers] are making a comeback And the manufacturing sector has been experiencing a renaissance.”

Also during the AALU appearance, Insana expressed not so positive thoughts about Donald Trump.

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