Shhh. Don’t tell him that. He might actually figure it out. Nah. Who am I kidding? That would mean that he would actually have to take the blame for something.
One year into his administration, President Obama might want to consider dropping the "blame Bush" page from his playbook.
Whether it’s the economy, national security or America’s reputation abroad, the president and his top advisers have been pinning the blame on the prior administration, directly or obliquely, ever since Obama’s inauguration a full year ago. They’ve done so, in fact, at least seven times since last Tuesday’s stunning upset in the Massachusetts Senate election.
While the loss of the late Ted Kennedy’s longtime seat forced Democrats to acknowledge shortcomings in persuading Americans to support their health care reform plan, it didn’t stop them from continuing to invoke the failings of the George W. Bush administration — though Obama had just completed his first year in office.
Some Republicans, and even some Democrats, say it’s time to choose a different strategy in selling and defending the Obama agenda, noting that the anti-Bush demographic just isn’t as energized now as it was when Bush was in office.
"What you have the last two cycles is the angry voters, the ones most motivated to turn out, were Democrats, who did not like Bush. They didn’t like his policies … You saw it, what we call the surge voters," said former Rep. Tom Davis, former chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee.
I want this to happen for 2 VERY important reasons. First, we need to stop Obama’s Socialism Experiment. Secondly, wouldn’t you love watching Gibbs trying to spin this as “the nation voted Republicans back in power BECAUSE they love Obama’s agenda” It would be priceless. I don’t even need to mention watching Olbermann frothing at the mouth.
Think others are too conservative on projecting GOP gains. We don’t have a House model yet, but GOP seems as likely as not to take House.
And Cook on the enthusiasm gap:
If this level remains constant, you can count on the Democratic majority in the House being toast this fall.
The chief political argument for passing ObamaCare at this point is that only by tossing red meat to the lefty base can that gap be narrowed. But (a) whatever comes out of the new House/Senate negotiations is unlikely to be so pleasing to progressives that it’ll lead them to turn out en masse, and (b) even if it did, the salient data point isn’t how much higher progressive turnout will be but whether the uptick in progressive turnout exceeds the uptick in turnout among enraged conservatives. If you pick up five percent more enthusiasm among lefties and incite 10 percent more among righties disgusted at having the bill rammed through via reconciliation, what have you gained politically? According to Cook, there are now fully 49 Democratic seats that are rated merely “lean Democratic” or “toss-up;” another 37 are “likely Democratic.” The GOP only needs 40 of those 86 to reclaim the House. What’s another surge in enthusiasm going to do to those numbers after O-Care passes and more Dems inevitably retire?
So bad is it, in fact, that Sean Trende of RCP is starting to think about whether the GOP could retake the Senate, too.
Getting to 47 or 48 seats for the GOP isn’t that difficult. It is getting those last two seats that will be exceedingly hard. Nevertheless, for the first time this cycle it is possible to see a scenario where the GOP gets those seats. I’d put their odds at doing so around 1 in 30. Then again, that’s where I put their odds of taking back the House a year ago. And that’s when things get interesting. The Democrats got their filibuster-proof majority by doing well in a year where they probably should have lost a seat or two (2006). The 2008 playing field was much more forgiving, and allowed them to post big numbers. In 2012 there are 23 Democrats and 10 Republican up for election, including nine Democrats in states Bush or McCain carried (versus four Republicans in Kerry or Obama states). In 2014, 20 Democrats (11 from Bush/McCain states) and 13 Republicans (1 from Kerry/Obama states). If Republicans make substantial gains this cycle, they could be in a position for a supermajority of their own in a few years.