Past performance is no guarantee of future results, Part Two:
Obama’s finest speeches do not excite. They do not inform. They don’t even really inspire. They elevate. They enmesh you in a grander moment, as if history has stopped flowing passively by, and, just for an instant, contracted around you, made you aware of its presence, and your role in it. He is not the Word made flesh, but the triumph of word over flesh, over color, over despair. The other great leaders I’ve heard guide us towards a better politics, but Obama is, at his best, able to call us back to our highest selves, to the place where America exists as a glittering ideal, and where we, its honored inhabitants, seem capable of achieving it, and thus of sharing in its meaning and transcendence.
Though the president has been campaigning for six months or so actively (and more subtly for the prior year), he has made no real gains with the independent voters who will swing the election. There is no evidence that they trust him to do a good job on the economy in a second term. If he hopes to win, he has to offer them a vision of how he will make things better. It is high time White House and the Obama-Biden campaign recognize that touting the American “Jobs” Act is not moving the center of the country…If he does not do something else, he is going to lose.
Fortunately, that same day, President Obama seized the moment, with a bold new economic plan.