Thursday, November 05, 2009


Everybody’s got an opinion about Tuesday’s elections – mostly validating the opinion they had before Tuesday’s elections. So:

1. Republicans are trumpeting a turnaround in their fortunes because they won governorships in Virginia and New Jersey.

2. Democrats are crowing about taking a NY Congressional seat they haven’t held since Ulysses S. Grant was president.

3. Republicans are saying it’s a referendum on Obama and people don’t like what he’s doing.

4. Dems are saying the issues are local and it doesn’t have anything to do with Obama.

Etc., etc., ad nauseum.

So what do I think? Glad you asked.

I’ll comment on the country as a whole, not individual races or issues and personalities that were in play on Tuesday. The economy still sucks. People know that and they’re not happy about it. It’s easier to blame the guys in charge. So the argument that Obama inherited a mess won’t help much.

Obama hasn’t provided a compelling story that people can understand and relate to. He was elected because millions responded viscerally to his story in 2008, me included. He needs to rekindle his ability to connect and inspire.

I wrote the other day about some important accomplishments that haven’t received a lot of attention. The trouble is that they aren’t game changers. Health care is. Energy and climate change are. A demonstrable economic turnaround would be. A major foreign policy accomplishment would be. Obama needs a big win to change the momentum. That would give him room to maneuver and give people the feeling that there is reason to believe we’re headed in the right direction.

In his favor is his capacity to be cool and come up with winning strategies. I think/hope he’ll do that. My preference is that it be sooner rather than later.


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