But that fundamental difference in perspective has yet to manifest itself in this campaign. Americans seem to want to take Obama at his word. They don't understand that his campaign philosophy of 2008 is worlds apart from his campaign philosophy of 2012. He has failed as a universal president -- a president whose rising tide has lifted all boats. His only success must spring from his particularism. He must deconstruct his "all things to all people" persona in order to appeal to any one particular group.
But Obama's enigmatic persona means that there's no there there. He hasn't offered enough to any one group to qualify as a representative member. His answer to Black Enterprise came in response to a question about whether he's done enough for the black community. And he hasn't. But he can only campaign as a black candidate or a gay candidate or a Latino candidate or a whatever-he-is-this-week candidate.
And that just won't fly. Because, to paraphrase a famously unifying politician of the recent past, we're not black states and white states, gay states and straight states -- we're the United States. Even if our president seems to like us better scattered and disunited.