If Mitt Romney had said in 2012 that a second Obama term would bring not just continued economic uncertainty, but also the re-emergence of international terrorist forces, Russia's invasion of the Ukraine, an illegal immigration crisis, a knife-wielding madman in the White House, a beheading in Oklahoma, and the Ebola virus in Texas, even the president's most paranoid critics would have told him to calm down.
But here we are, with a president overcome by crises—a situation summed up succinctly this morning by Matthew Continetti in the Free Beacon.
Perhaps the closest analogue in the Bush administration would be late 2005, when the administration's weak response to Hurricane Katrina marked the beginning of the end of his presidency, a moment embodying the administration's reputation for ineptitude and insularity.
Ironically, that was the charge levied at the Bush administration by none other than Senator Obama, speaking on ABC's This Week on September 11, 2005:
Well I think that that points to one of the big problems that I've seen in this administration. And that is, they have excellent responses when it comes to PR, more detachment and less effectiveness when it comes to governing. I think that's been true in Iraq, it's been true across the board.
And, you know, a good example: We had a cabinet meeting this week. The Senators had eight cabinet members -- Donald Rumsfeld, Michael Chertoff. What was striking was even as people were reading the statistics of all the evacuations that had taken place, were telling us of all the wonderful things that have been done, there was no sense of reflection, no sense that things didn't go the way they were supposed to, and that we needed to take away some lessons learned.
There was a terrific spin operation, but not the kind of soul searching that I think you'd want to see from any administration, Democrat or Republican."
Then, in reply to George Stephanopolous's question of how Senator Obama would advise President Bush, he added that the president should tell the people that "what he saw woke him up, that it made him realize not only that issues of government competence in the response have to be dealt with, but more broadly, that he is awakened to the fact that in fact our country is not doing the sort of job it should be ..."
Well, maybe this will be President Obama's wake-up call. Unless he hits the snooze button again.