"Obama was an incumbent"
Correction: Obama was the incumbent BLACK president. No way were the establishment elites (mostly liberal with a sprinkling of "respectable" conservatives) going to allow this "clean" Black man be humiliated by not being re-elected.
Was there any doubt that Obama, as a “Black” president, was not going to be allowed to lose by the political establishment no matter what he did or did not do? How would they face the “developing world” that he “looked like” (not to mention the addled Europeans) if he was to be summarily dismissed after only one term? It was never in the cards.