The Sloppy Incumbent
The merits and importance of that campaign have been exaggerated, of course. Show me a candidate from the out-party running in an environment in which the incumbent averages 29 percent approval in the run-up to the election, in which the economy is in a recession and credit crisis, in which U.S. troops are deployed overseas in two unpopular wars, and I’ll show you a winner. The fact that Obama’s general election opponent chose to ignore his greatest vulnerability only eased his passage to the White House. The favorable political landscape and the media’s hosannas obscured weaknesses—Obama’s remoteness, his dependence on scripts, his partisanship, and his inflated sense of his powers of persuasion—that would harm him after the Inauguration.
Obama for America 2008 may not have been, as the president put it on Election Night, the “best political campaign, I think, in the history of America.” Nor was it, as a former editor of the New Republic once wrote, “the political equivalent of crossing a Lamborghini with a Hummer.” But Obama’s first presidential run was formidable in at least this aspect: The then-senator and his top lieutenants were careful in projecting a “good-government,” squeaky-clean halo over his candidacy. Obama pledged to operate within the system of public financing. No lobbyists were allowed to donate to the campaign. No lobbyist, it was said, would be allowed to serve in an Obama administration. Such an administration, moreover, would be committed to “creating an unprecedented level of openness in government.” Read the original article at Washington Free Beacon