The background: Politico did an article on how Democrats across the land who have tough battles ahead in 2012 are kind of... avoiding... the President these days. The quote below comes right after the article in question noted that most sitting North Carolina Democrats were distinctly unwilling to get within camera range of Barack Obama:
“[Obama] may end up being Walter Mondale of 1984,” said Raleigh-based Democratic strategist Brad Crone, recalling how the only elected official who risked being seen with the party’s nominee that year was the longtime agriculture commissioner.
Man. Those ag commissioners are afraid of nothing, huh? Must be all that contact with genetically engineered food. No, really: I hear that the latest generation of GM corn has taken to carrying around switchblades and hassling the rutabagas.
Moving along: it's going to be obscured by this week's polling - I fully expect that Obama will get a largely incidental boost in popularity from Gadhafi being shot; it always cheers up Americans when we hear that a dictator has been involuntarily downsized* - but people should expect more of this as the election cycle heats up. Assuming, of course, that unemployment stay up... but then, the President's had going on three years at this point to do something about that, and I don't think that Obama is quite prepared to admit yet that his campaign handlers' egos wrote checks that his body can't cash.
I'll end by noting something from the Politico article: every state that it mentioned (Arizona, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia) saw Republican victories in the House of Representatives (twenty-two seats in total); not to mention, three governorships and one Senate seat flipped. So every state on that list should be considered a high priority by the Democratic party for getting back lost territory: traditionally, it's the freshman and sophomore legislators who are usually most at risk. Keep that in mind when assessing just how much the Democrats are secretly worrying about their party head's popularity...
Moe Lane (crosspost)
*I think that it comes from our collective understanding that the national destiny of the United States of America is apparently to destroy monsters. That means, among other things, that native human curiosity requires us to take a lively interest on seeing just what is going on inside a dictator's head.
Preferably, in color.