Politico has a piece discussing the “big drags” on the Obama re-elect effort. Nothing too surprising: there is the lack of economic growth and the bad political map. The usual suspects. What caught my eye was this:
A top Democratic strategist who is close to the White House said that Obama’s first-term record “is going to be, on balance, probably a liability” for his reelection, partly “because of the failure to sell and explain the things that they were doing.”
“I believe history will judge what they did to be correct,” the strategist said. “But the failure to communicate why they were doing it has meant that there is such confusion…It’s ground he’s going to have to make up, rather than things he’s going to be able to run on.”
As a former George W. Bush administration appointee, and someone who believes that President Bush will be vindicated by history (for strategy, if not always for tactics); let me say that I’m familiar with that argument. I made iterations of it myself in 2007 and 2008. When the argument about your term is “history will vindicate us, and we communicated poorly” then you have officially lost the present.
Have we ever had a lame duck president run for re-election?