The Odds on Obama II
Don’t put money on a second term.
Nov 15, 2010, Vol. 16, No. 09 • By JONATHAN V. LAST
Whatever one thinks of Obama’s political future, it is difficult to imagine him getting more than the 53 percent of the vote he commanded in 2008. For one thing, Obama’s first campaign was designed to allow him to be all things to all people. Almost by definition, his appeal cannot be broader than it was two years ago. And for another, Obama’s legislative agenda has dismantled his coalition with dazzling efficiency. He has lost support in every conceivable subgroup—from young voters to old, among both liberals and conservatives, among high school grads, college grads, and postgraduate professionals, too.
In order to win reelection, Obama must either dramatically reconfigure his presidency or titrate his loss of support in a manner so precise that only two American presidents have ever pulled it off. It’s difficult to tell which would be the tougher trick.
The other possibility, of course, is that he’s toast.
Jonathan V. Last is a senior writer at The Weekly Standard.