It was OK in 2008 to hitch your wagon (if you were a Democrat) to Obama’s star and ride his momentum into office. Today? Not so much. Writing in the Washington Times, David Sherfinski says that, downstream, those same Democrats are putting some distance from Obama this time around:
President Obama’s hope-and-change coalition powered his party to wins up and down the ticket in 2008, but the campaign this year has taken on a far more self-serving focus, as both Mr. Obama’s campaign and his fellow Democrats see benefits in keeping their space from each other.
“Arizona’s actually pretty insulated from the presidential campaign. That’s given us a stability, both us and the Flake campaign, to present our own message and a cleaner ability to present our own message, compared to other states,” a Carmona campaign official said.
And Ann Kirkpatrick who rode Obama’s coattails into office in 2008 but was booted in 2010 is trying to regain her seat, this time without Obama’s help:
“The president is absent from any of her last two campaigns,” said Barrett Marson, a spokesman for her Republican opponent, Jonathan Pason. “You wouldn’t know who was president, and you wouldn’t know he was the leader of her party by looking at her material.”
Barack Obama is running the kind of presidential campaign that provides short coattails to any Democrats running down-ballot.
That reduces any chance House Democrats might have to regain a majority in this election cycle.
Obama is not running on what he accomplished in the past four years, nor on what he wants to do in the next four. He is running on a cult of personality.
And the more voters learn about the guy, the less they like him. We’ll see if Romney’s “surge” in the polls is really about Romney, or instead more about rejection of Obama.