So where did it all go wrong for Obama. That’s the big question, asked by Amie Parnes of The Hill:
Political observers, from former Obama aides to staffers who served in previous administrations, say something is going to have to change if the president is to achieve anything at all in his last two years in office.
“It is a near metaphysical certainty that in his last two years, he’ll confront the same House he has in the last four years,” said William Galston, a senior fellow of governance studies at the Brookings Institution who served as an adviser to former President Clinton during his White House years.
“So the question is, how are they going to deal with that? If they deal with the same House in the same way, they’ll get the same results.”
She runs through the usual pedestrian explanations – lack of ‘focus,” obstructionist Republicans, etc. But buried in all the usual cant, there is this revealing nugget:
… even former aides to Obama are casting around for explanations as to why his stock of political capital has depleted so rapidly. “I’m still struggling to figure this out,” said one former senior administration official. “I think a lot of it boils down to this mindset that, ‘we all have the answers and we’re smarter than everybody else and we can do this.’ ”
Smarter than everybody else.