As an incumbent president matched against a nominee from the other party who survived a grueling primary season, Obama should be rolling in dough and enjoying a double-digit lead nationally and healthy head-starts in the key battleground states.
Instead he finds himself in a statistical tie in state after state, including the reliably blue states of Michigan, Iowa, Colorado, Nevada.
When it comes to campaign contributions, Mitt Romney outraised the president by $17 million in May!
And of course Wisconsin voted overwhelmingly to back its reformist governor Scott Walker.
Every day brings another Obama pratfall or embarrassing moment, including the off-color joke that stuns most people who hear it.
What is hurting the president most, however, is the dismal economic news about job creation and the growing sense that only Romney has a plan to re-ignite the engines fo American capitalism.
In his new book Our Divided Political Heart, E.J. Dionne does the best job a lefty can of defending the president, but as our conversation on air Thursday showed, Dionne is trying to make a square a circle and to announce that 2+2 = job growth under Obama. (The transcript of that interview is here)
The president’s record –the facts of his time in office—are just overwhelmingly bad. And he has no plan beyond a tax hike on millionaires that doesn’t raise a fraction of the revenue necessary to remedy the deficit much less the debt.
This is the president’s dilemma: He has no record to run on. None. Even the repeated references to the death of bin Laden have begun to rub the public the wrong way as they step on the admiration owed to the men who took the risks and actually dispatched the terrorist.
Time’s Mark Halperin reports that Republicans now believe that Romney can win and Democrats now believe that Obama can lose. By this Halperin means the Beltway elites who have never been ahead of a single story about the president they collectively revere.
If they now get it, imagine just how deep the political hole is that the president finds himself in.
The “first rule of holes” is “stop digging.” The president hasn’t. The president won’t. And the hole keeps getting deeper, not just for him, but for America.
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