Weeks before the debt-limit showdown came to a head, White House chief of staff Bill Daley held an unannounced retreat for his senior staff at Fort McNair, an Army base near the southern tip of the District of Columbia. The agenda for the June confab was wide-ranging, including a lecture of sorts from the presidential historian Michael Beschloss. The question Daley asked him to address was the one on everyone’s mind these days in the West Wing: How does a U.S. President win re-election with an unemployment rate far higher than voters can bear?
The answer Beschloss provided gave some lift to Obama’s team. No law in politics is ever 100% accurate, he said. Two Presidents in the last century, Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1936 and Ronald Reagan in 1984, won re-election amid substantial economic suffering. Both used the same basic strategy. They argued that the country, though in pain, was improving, and that the ideas of their opponents, anchored in past failures, would make things worse.
In 1984 the economy was growing at a rapid rate. In 1936 FDR was still trying to get the New Deal past SCOTUS. The Democrats GAINED seats in Congress in 1934.
What has Obama done? What’s he still plan to do? His policies are even less popular than he is. He single-handedly brought the GOP back from the dead.
Now he thinks he can run against them?