Is Obama overrated as a candidate?
By Chris Cillizza, Published: October 7
In his closing remarks at the first debate in Denver last week, President Obama uttered the following sentence: “Four years ago, I said that I’m not a perfect man and I wouldn’t be a perfect president.”
For anyone who has watched Obama campaign for a second term this year, the phrase is old hat — part of the president’s seemingly self-effacing acknowledgment that he has, is and will continue to make mistakes but that he does so in the service of trying to do the right thing.
But the now-familiar phrase took on a different — and more troubling — meaning for the president in the debate as it capped a decidedly desultory performance that left even his most loyal allies wondering what was wrong with him.
Obama’s debate performance also raised a bigger question: Is he overrated as a candidate?
Four years ago, that question would have been unimaginable. After all, this was a man who in his first run for national office not only outmaneuvered the Clinton family to win the Democratic presidential nomination but also went on to claim a 365-electoral-vote general-election landslide against Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz). And, oh by the way, Obama did all that while raising $750 million (including $500 million online) — a sum that shattered all fundraising records.
He beat the second string Clinton and the 72-year-old McCain and he sucked up a whole lot of Wall Street cash!
Let me make a prediction: Obama will do better and Romney worse in the next debate, as regression toward the mean kicks in.
Let me make another prediction: the reasons Obama went from nobody to President in four years without actually doing anything -- recall that it took Ulysses S. Grant eight years to go from nobody to President, during which he took Vicksburg -- will continue to go unexplored.