The Washington Post

Obama is a naked emperor with a glass jaw

This week, President Obama could be revealed as a naked emperor with a glass jaw. If his campaign is collapsing, we will begin to see it in the next few days.  

Obama's claim of having a successful foreign policy lies in ruins in Benghazi; the economy is rotten and he has no solutions; and his argument that Mitt Romney is unacceptable didn't survive the first side-by-side comparison.

I'm respectful of all the caution and disclaimers that are necessary when talking about a November election in mid-October; three weeks is a lifetime in politics. Obama is personally popular, the polls show a tight race, etc.  All good paranoid Republicans fear an October surprise generated by the New York Times or CBS that could take down their nominee.  

But the president doesn't have much left to say and too much time to say it. Voters are noticing the obvious. The lack of a rationale for his reelection and more of the same, combined with his failure to destroy Romney, leaves Obama with nothing compelling to say. If I were Romney, I wouldn't trade his trajectory, message or momentum for Obama's right now.

In politics, the worst of all worlds is when you are saying something that is different from what voters are seeing for themselves. Obama is experiencing a dreaded triple whammy; he is saying the economy is better and yet people don't feel it; he says he has made us stronger internationally but no one believes it; and he is saying Romney is a villain but voters don't see him that way. Plain and simple, the Obama campaign may have peaked too soon.

The best news for the Obama campaign is that there will be 15 days between the last debate and the election. Maybe that is enough time for Obama to persuade enough voters to not believe their lying eyes.

Ed Rogers is a contributor to the PostPartisan blog, a political consultant and a veteran of the White House and several national campaigns. He is the chairman of the lobbying and communications firm BGR Group, which he founded with former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour in 1991.


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