Karl Rove's American Crossroads launches a video that will buy time in all the swing states CO, FL, IA, NC, NH, NV, OH, VA. Nothing clever or tricky about the presentation: Candidate Obama promised this, and POTUS Obama delivered this. The swelling of public debt to $16 trillion in exchange for fewer jobs and high joblessness does appear to be troubling. OFA has sensibly avoided this issue by talking about how POTUS has added 4.7 million jobs in 27 months and "there's more to do." Mitt Romney on the campaign trail has not challenged POTUS in any sober fashion, choosing instead to lead pep rallies with slogans, complaints and momentary laugh lines. Is the first debate on Wednesday 3 October the correct forum? Unknown. Major Garrett at the National Journal joins with his colleagues to present the case that POTUS Obama is not held accountable for the disappointment of his promises and his deliveries because the voters have come to accept less from the White House. The New Normal is the New Dismal. The voters are resigned to dismal, incremental and discouraging. Joe Trippi, the guru of the Almost President Howard Dean, 2004, remarks about voters that, "...there's a sense of resignation, there's no alternative. The more they feel that way, the more secondary considerations like familiarity and likability and trust take hold." In sum, Americans appear ready to return a campaign that believes the word "Forward" has political significance as a follow-up to the 2008 puzzle of "Yes, we can!" Satire cannot improve on the OFA genius for enjoying back-to-back campaigns of virtual froth.
No History to Explain OFA Success.
What is reliably gritty is that no American incumbent has ever won an election with the American economy this weak. None of the major opinion makers have so far offered an explanation for how POTUS Obama is winning despite history. Is POTUS exempt from history? Do the American voters expect more than an historical figure in the White House, the first non-white president? History says that Mitt Romney is not a significant factor in the final choice. The voters either endorse or reject the economic results of the first term. Mostly, voters want to endorse an incumbency, which is why sitting presidents win. The exceptions is easy memory, Ford defeated by Carter, Carter defeated by Reagan, Bush defeated by Clinton, derived from unusual events such as a disgraced Nixon, third party candidates John Anderson and Ross Perot, as well as the disappointing economy of 1976, 1980, 1992? It is surprising to see that the American public will accept no change as a reward for returning a president who over promised and under-performed; however we all know the bromide: the devil you know better than the devil you don't. My estimate is that a second Obama administration will explore new lows of political cynicism. Ask not what your country can do for you, because you know the answer already.