Welcome Back, Carter

As Paul Ryan notes, “Simply put, the Jimmy Carter years look like the good old days compared to where we are right now.” Which sounds like a neat paraphrase of the headline from an article that the Insta-professor wrote a year ago in the Washington Examiner: “When Jimmy Carter is your best-case scenario, you’re in trouble:”


People on the right have been comparing President Obama with Jimmy Carter for a while now: The rise from nowhere via inexplicable press adulation, the smarmy moralizing, the excessive faith in his own abilities, the tendency of everything he touches to turn to crap — all seem eerily reminiscent of the Carter presidency.

But now it’s people on the left who are saying the same thing. Trouble is, at this point a Carter rerun is probably a best-case scenario.

In the Washington Examiner today, Byron York notes a “New experience for Obama: GOP attacks and mockery:”

Why did the Obama campaign fumble the “are Americans better off than four years ago” question?

Why has President Obama been unable to put the “you didn’t build that” charge to rest?

And why has the campaign struggled to come up with a coherent response to the Republican convention? (Calling it a pack of lies doesn’t count.)

It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that, as Democrats begin their convention here in Charlotte, the Obama campaign is not hitting on all cylinders. The question is why a campaign that was so successful in 2008 is sputtering today.

Here’s a theory: Barack Obama has never in his life run against a sharp, determined and aggressive Republican opponent. Facing Mitt Romney, who is all three, is a new experience for the president.


In his article above, Glenn Reynolds noted Obama’s Carter-esque “rise from nowhere via inexplicable press adulation.” That’s the problem with being a fictional media construct — what happens when the media gives up on their creation?

“This is worse than normal, a lot less fun, and it feels impossible for us to change the conversation,” Walter Shapiro, who has covered nine presidential campaigns and now writes for Yahoo News and Columbia Journalism Review, told POLITICO.

Doesn’t sound like much joy on the JournoList at the moment.


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