In the end, Carter lost to Reagan because he dithered too much, because he was just too feckless, because our enemies were running amok, and Carter was trying to make a deal with them instead of acting the way most of us thought a real American leader should act. Then, as now, the media were overwhelmingly behind the Democratic incumbent, but the real world overwhelmed them. Then, it was American hostages in Iran. Now, it is American dead in Libya. Then, it was a mob of Iranian “students” shrieking “death to America” in Tehran and taking over the American embassy . Now, it is jihadi killers in Benghazi gunning down our ambassador and three soldiers, and burning the consulate.
Back then, the symbol of a failed president was a big rabbit. Now, it’s a big bird.
Machiavelli says that once a leader becomes an object of contempt, he’s doomed. Which is Obama’s current condition. Once you become the butt of jokes the aura of leadership is gone forever.
I have real trouble imagining that Obama/Biden can undo this situation. If my political future hinged on the performance of Joe Biden, I’d be in despair. Hell, if my political future hinged on Obama’s performance sans teleprompter, I’d be looking for the foodstamp counter.
Polls or no polls, Obama has been crippled, and the striking similarities with Carter evoke 1980, when lots of polls were calling for a photo finish, and Carter believed to the last minute that he could win.
You will say that Romney is no Reagan. And I will say that back in 1980 hardly anyone knew that Reagan was Reagan. But they knew that Carter was a dithering wimp and they had had enough.