September 17, 2013
The numbers reflect a couple of facts that are largely beyond his control. The first is that after 12 years of nonstop fighting in distant lands, Americans are sick of war. The second is that after nearly five years of watching him in the White House, many are also tired of Obama.
This is a common consequence of protracted exposure. Most TV series don’t last more than five years — and TV series don’t air seven days a week, 52 weeks a year. There have been several new iPhone models since Obama was first elected. If you bought a suit or a dress five years ago, it’s no longer the epitome of fashion.
Facing the aftermath of re-election is a challenge for the people in the administration, as well as the people they serve. Top aides burn out or cash in, leaving the White House to find replacements, who may not enjoy the same trust or access. Presidents run out of ideas. If they have any left over, they’re even less likely to be able to get them through the second time around.
Scandals also have a tendency to erupt in the second term, and the IRS targeting of tea party groups arrived this year right on schedule. All this comes before the midterm congressional elections, which typically bring losses to the party in the White House. Republicans are expected to enlarge their House majority and could capture the Senate.
However miserable his second term is for Obama, the real misery is for the country.