The general consensus even on the Obama News Network was that last night’s electoral ass-whoopin’ was a repudiation of Barack Obama. Just a few weeks ago Obama said that his policies were on the ballot:
President Obama insisted that his economic policies are “on the ballot” this fall, thwarting Democratic attempts to distance themselves from the president ahead of November 4.
Delivering a speech on the economy at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management in Evanston, Ill., Obama said although he is not on the ballot, his policies are.
“I’m not on the ballot this fall. Michelle’s pretty happy about that,” Obama said. “But make no mistake: These policies are on the ballot, every single one of them.”
That’s really no surprise, midterm election are often seen as a referendum on the occupant of the White House.
Then last night we got this:
Two things were clear long before the votes were counted on Tuesday night: President Obama would face a Congress with more Republicans for his final two years in office, and the results would be seen as a repudiation of his leadership.
But that was not the way Mr. Obama saw it. The electoral map was stacked against him, he argued, making Democrats underdogs from the start. And his own party kept him off the trail, meaning he never really got the chance to make his case. “You’re in the Final Four,” as one aide put it, “and you’re on the bench with a walking boot and you don’t get to play.”
The Republican capture of the Senate culminated a season of discontent for the president — and may yet open a period of even deeper frustration. Sagging in the polls and unwelcome in most competitive races across the country, Mr. Obama bristled as the last campaign that would influence his presidency played out while he sat largely on the sidelines. He privately complained that it should not be a judgment on him. “He doesn’t feel repudiated,” the aide said Tuesday night.
But the Republican tide was stronger than projected, sweeping away Democrats even in some of those few blue states where the president did campaign. Mr. Obama now faces a daunting challenge in reasserting his relevance in a capital where he will be perceived as a lame duck. If the hope-and-change phase of his presidency is long over, he wants at least to produce a period of progress and consolidation to complete his time in the White House.
After making congratulatory telephone calls from the White House on Tuesday night, Mr. Obama will kick off that final phase on Wednesday with a news conference seeking bipartisan accommodation on issues of mutual interest, and he invited Republican and Democratic leaders at the White House on Friday. At the same time, aides said, Mr. Obama is eager to throw off the constraints of a campaign that he did not direct and begin to defend his record in a more robust way again.
“He’s going to be aggressive. He’s ready to go,” said another senior official, who like others did not want to be identified discussing plans before the election results were tabulated. “We’ve got a lot of important stuff to get done in the lame duck. He’ll talk about that tomorrow. We’ve got a lot of important stuff to get done in the last two years. He’s anxious to get going on that.”
Seriously, has the man gone completely off his rocker?
Here was the scene at OFA headquarters: