The charisma, sense of history and giddy hope that propelled
Obama really should be in big trouble. The economy continues to limp along with more gloom than sunshine on the horizon. His landmark legislative achievement, the healthcare act, is misunderstood and controversial. His foreign policy successes do not count for much in a time when Americans are looking inward. His greatest accomplishment – keeping the American economy from going over a cliff back in 2009 – cannot be easily appreciated, since, when calamity is avoided, it is hard to explain to restive voters just how much worse it could have been.
The most passionate voters are on the Republican side among the
Clearly, Obama would be doing much worse if he faced a more appealing opponent. No one but Romney's loyal wife is all that crazy about poor Mitt, while Obama is still well liked by a majority of voters. That gives Obama a small advantage. Ironically, though, it may be the folks who detest him and invest in him all their fears who actually are giving him even more of a boost. When middle-of-the-road voters hear the right-wing, paranoid talk about a president they have gotten to know as, if nothing else, a calm, decent family man, they may be inclined to put aside their disappointments with Obama's first term and give him another four years rather than reward Romney who continues to cater to the crazies.
Despite what swing voters might glean from the histrionics of
Not so long ago, several of the political positions Obama now holds were part of the platform of a certain Massachusetts politician named Mitt Romney. Romney may now refute those ideas, but before he changed his mind on healthcare, abortion, gay rights and immigration, no one called Romney a socialist; they called him a moderate.
The president looks far left to conservative Republicans only because they have moved so far right – or, more precisely, so far back in time. They have reverted to an older GOP philosophy – the slavish devotion to wealthy business interests of