Quote of the year

Among the year-end lists compiled this year I have yet to see one that captures the quote of the year. Confining consideration to active politicians, I think that President Obama walks away with the honors this year.

Against all the odds in the run-up to the midterm elections in November, Obama said something useful and, even more improbably, something true (video below). In his speech at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management on October 2 — a speech larded with misleading factoids and excuses and falsehoods touting his record on the economy (including Obamacare) at Castroite length (White House text here) — Obama said: “Now, I am not on the ballot this fall. Michelle is pretty happy about that. But make no mistake: These policies are on the ballot — every single one of them.”

With his approval substantially underwater, Obama thus reminded the voters in the sixth year of his presidency that this was their last chance to express their disapproval of him. What were Obama and his strategists thinking?

Obama’s statement undermined the campaigns of Democratic Senate candidates including Mark Pryor, Kay Hagan, and Alison Lundergan Grimes, each of whom ardently advocated the proposition that the midterm elections were not about Obama or his policies. Obama emerged to step on their theme and proclaim: It’s all about me!