POTUS Obama enjoys the campaign trail, because the candidate can speak briefly in arranged slogans without having to explain much. Mr. Obama asserting that the second term of the Obama administration will see POTUS changing Washington from the outside is trite and yet at the same time clever. It has no meaning but it sounds snappy. The president is the complete insider in the Constitution: the checks and balances construction of the 18th and 19th Century arguments only works when the executive branch balances with the legislative and the judicial. Does Obama know this? Yes. However the cleverness of the remark that POTUS Obama means to change Washington from the outside means that Candidate Obama does not have to explain much of why Washington is so disliked even while he is the president who boasted of change. Perhaps this is all so much noise on the trail, and Obama is talking slogans because it is expected. Could the president have said he planned to spend his second term living as far from Washington as possible, perhaps in Hawaii, and made as much sense? Sure.
October Approval Obama.
Sean Trende, RealClearPolitics.com, reminds that the RCP average approval rating of the president is the single most effective way to measure the election. Obama's average started two weeks ago at 47.4, a weak number that does not indicate re-election. The surge the last two weeks has moved Obama to 49.8, which is at the edge of re-election. Sean Trende describes this surge as not about Romney's ineffectiveness but rather about the bounce from the early September DNC Convention at Charlotte, a wave of good feeling about being Democrats. The surge will not last, says Mr. Trende, and the race will continue a slow grind into October. The economic numbers do signify, and so does the wealth effect of a surging stock market thanks to the QE3 boost of money-printing at the Fed; however the public will decide on Mr. Obama's stewardship the last weeks on the basis of the jobs numbers, the housing numbers, and the right direction/wrong direction opinions of the voters in the swing states. The election remains too close to call. It is not about Romney. It is about the economy, which is sluggish and discouraging. (Note: troubling foreign policy events, such as a wave of flag-burning and attacks, can change minds about right direction/wrong direction, and in that way can influence the approval ratings in October. Sean Trende reminds that this was the case for Mr. Carter late in the campaign of 1980 against the challenger Ronald Reagan.)