If this was a presidential election year, it’s safe to say that Barack Obama would have been thrown out, and hard. If the president doesn’t change between now and 2012–and as long as the Republicans don’t choose an unelectable candidate like Christine O’Donnell or Sharron Angle in the primary–he will be a one-termer and remembered badly by history.
He can publicly deny it all he wants, and he can dismiss the electorate as unhinged or stupid, but on some level, when he’s lying awake after midnight, he’ll know it’s true.
Two years is an eternity in politics, and the American people are very forgiving. Redemption, however, has to be earned, and he can’t run against George W. Bush anymore.