This one. I’m sure some of you have looked at it and seen this already, but I haven’t seen it said in as many words. The pattern is, in the long run, politically expedient for Democrats.

Picture this: Obama narrowly wins the election in 2012 on good speechwriting, quality teleprompter operation, and force of personality, and by claiming to have cut the deficit by a bunch during his first term (the fact that it’s his deficit to begin with notwithstanding). Republicans make big gains in Congress, though, in 2010 and 2012. In Obama’s second term, deficits slowly creep back up. The media harps on the growing deficit as being the fault of the Republican majority in Congress, and the Democrats cruise to an easy win in 2016.

It could happen, and it makes sense to me.