One aspect of Ronald Reagan’s huge win over Jimmy Carter in 1980 is that the press corps—some of it at least—took a dislike to Carter, such that many of his attacks on Reagan’s purported “racism” backfired badly. Just like Jimmy Carter in 1976, Obama sold mostly himself rather than a coherent body of ideas in his successful drive for the White House. Everyone assumes that the media is in the bag for Obama, and while this was certainly true in 2008 and remains true of the TV networks and most major newspaper bureaus, I wonder if some journalists might be getting some buyer’s remorse over their slavishness to The One; whether a few might break from the pack and pounce on Obama.
Case in point: Maureen Dowd in the New York Times today. Axelrod and the others swamis of the Chicago Cargo Cult of Obama surely can’t be happy with the harshness of the judgments in “Dreaming of a Superhero”:
Covering a humorous W. at the unveiling of his portrait, the White House press actually seemed nostalgic for the president who bollixed up Afghanistan, Iraq, Katrina and the economy — a sure sign that the Obama magic is flagging. . .
The president who started off with such dazzle now seems incapable of stimulating either the economy or the voters. . .
Once glowing, his press is now burning. “To a very real degree, 2008’s candidate of hope stands poised to become 2012’s candidate of fear,” John Heilemann wrote in New York magazine, noting that because Obama feels he can’t run on his record, his campaign will resort to nuking Romney. . .
In some ways, he’s still finding himself, too absorbed to see what’s not working. But the White House is a very hard place to go on a vision quest, especially with a storm brewing.
If this catches on more widely, Obama is toast.
UPDATE: Power Line reader JB in Texas reminds me that Dowd’s last sentence here merely means she’s caught up with Sarah Palin, who warned in 2008: “My fellow citizens, the American presidency is not supposed to be a journey of ‘personal discovery.’ This world of threats and dangers is not just a community, and it doesn’t just need an organizer.”
Meanwhile, reader RS in California writes to suggest an alternative headline: “Dowd and Out at the Times.” I like it.