This time around, the Obama machine cannot run on the fairy dust of hope and change. It cannot suggest after four years of dreadful executive-branch performance, that the promised one is on the horizon.
Its only path to victory is the one that finds its opponents even more disliked. So it can be guaranteed that whoever wins the Republican contest will face one of the most scorching personal assaults the country has ever witnessed.
Occasionally, the old style, thrill-up-my-leg over Obama quote still emerges. The Media Research Center's 2011 winners of "Best of Notable Quotables" provide examples. Stephen Marche of Esquire magazine won over judges of the "Obamagasm Award" by energetically asking "Can we just take a month or two to contemplate him (Obama) the way we might contemplate a painting by Vermeer or a guitar lick by the early-'70s Rolling Stones or a Peyton Manning pass or any other astounding, ecstatic human achievement?" At least when people said this in 2008, it hadn't been completely disproved. Marche reminds us of Baghdad Bob, the ridiculous propagandist for Saddam, proclaiming the defeat of allied troops while they emerged around the corner.
Marche actually claimed we will look back decades from now and see "a glorious idyll in American politics, with a confident, intelligent, fascinating president riding the surge of his prodigious talents from triumph to triumph." Someone hearing Marche declare this might rush him to an emergency room for signs of dementia.
The winner of MRCs "Media Hero Award" came forward as the congressional career of Anthony Weiner was about to end after having demonstrated his contempt for his wife by showing off his body parts all over Twitter (and actually exchanging tweets with high school girls).
ABCs Barbara Walters urged Weiner not to resign, citing as her role model the most shameless, brazen sex offender to ever darken the White House door. "And we had a President named Bill Clinton who went through a great deal of trouble, weathered the storm and is now not only respected, but he's beloved by many people with a very good marriage. So, I think Anthony Weiner should hang in there." Bad word choice -- (SET ITAL) hang (END ITAL).