Earlier this month, President Obama visited San Francisco and was joined by Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi for a fundraising event. In the course of the evening, Obama told the donors that he expected that after the 2014 election, Pelosi would resume her place as speaker, which she relinquished after the 2010 election.
It’s easy to see why the president would want that to be so. If the Democrats were to win the 218 House seats needed for the majority and put Pelosi back in the speaker’s chair, it would allow Obama to spend his final two years in office doing more than marking time as a lame duck.
But even if Obama were to inject himself massively into the campaigns of congressional Democrats, it’s unlikely he could guarantee a Democratic victory.
A gain of congressional seats by a president’s party in his sixth year in office may not be quite as elusive as the Higgs boson or Fermat’s Last Theorem, but it’s nearly the equivalent in the political world. Only once in the last 80 years has a president’s party managed to gain seats in his second midterm election. That feat was pulled off in 1998 by Bill Clinton, when Democrats gained eight seats on the GOP. In general, however, losses by presidents in midterm elections are as predictable as anything in politics.
This is all very true. However, recent history was also against a first term senator (or any senator, actually) with no real accomplishments in government or the private sector running away with an election and becoming president. It was also nigh on impossible for a president who was in office while the economy was getting swallowed by quicksand to get reelected.
What may factor into the unlikelihood of the Democrats regaining a majority in the House more than history will be the reality of this president’s singular achievement. Great pains were taken to have as little of Obamacare implemented before the 2012 election because even those most ardently supportive of it know that its promise and reality are unlikely to bear any resemblance to one another. Premiums will go up, people won’t be able to keep their doctors and the sobering difference between access to health insurance and availability of health care will become apparent. The victory parties from election night hadn’t even been cleaned up yet when Obamacare related layoffs began.
This is all, of course, rather obvious but the MSM has to begin the excuse-making now to protect their deity.