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.