Rich Galen

Outside the Beltway, the Upper West Side of Manhattan, and Malibu Beach most voters don't differentiate between Rs and Ds as to who runs what on Capitol Hill - so the Obama team convincing people to "throw the bums out" might include a bunch of Democratic babies along with the Republican bathwater.

The biggest danger to the Obama L.E.G.A.C.Y. isn't how many tax loopholes get closed or how familiar we become with the term "Chained CPI," but whether the Obama campaign's focus on the midterm elections become the pivot point.

The Obama White House has set a pretty high bar: Taking control of the House.

Part of the White House calculus has to be what is the downside risk to failing to take control on November 4, 2014.

Can they reset the test from "control" (plus 17) to "equal or better to Clinton" (plus 5)?

And then there is that pesky U.S. Senate. According to the University of Virginia's Professor Larry Sabato

"Of the 33 seats that will be contested in November 2014, Republicans only have to defend 13 while Democrats have to defend 20."

Further, Dr. Sabato points out that that 12 of 13 seats the GOP has to defend are in heavily Republican states - states in which Obama got an average of 45.5% of the popular vote - so the chances of Democratic pickups are slim.

He warns that, in the 2012 cycle the GOP thought they had a great chance to take control of the Senate but due to a number of reasons - dreadful candidates among them - not only did the Senate not change hands, but the Democrats expanded their majority.

These are just the technical aspects of the midterm elections. Obama has three senior officials - VP Joe Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry, and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel who, on any given day, are capable of saying something that will derail all the President's carefully laid plans.

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at