President Obama gave Republicans a gift today. He uttered 28 words during his speech at Northwestern University that made every Democrat running for election or reelection next month and possibly 2016 cringe: “I am not on the ballot this fall. Michelle’s pretty happy about that. But make no mistake: these policies are on the ballot. Every single one of them.”
Here’s more on the impact of President Obama’s words:
So, why did Obama say it? My guess is that he wanted to make the stakes clear to a Democratic base that, by virtually every polling measure I’ve seen, is less enthusiastic to turn out and vote on Nov. 4 than Republicans. The idea being that if you like Obama and his policies — which his base, especially African Americans, still do — then you need to show it by going out and voting. The Obama political team is working under the assumption that if you dislike President Obama, nothing he says or does is going to change that reality. So, why not show the Democratic base that this election is worth fighting for? I think that underestimates the impact of an unpopular president (on video no less!) bluntly insisting that an election in 33 days is indeed a referendum on his policies. Republicans couldn’t have written a better script than that.
President Obama seems to be as toxic as George W. Bush was in his second term. It will be interesting to see how the elections play out next month. That will undoubtedly set the stage for the 2016 presidential election.