The Washington Post

Romney, be prepared for the Obama comeback

The polls for President Obama look worse than ever, Romney raised more money than he did in May, former President Clinton is pulling against him, the Wisconsin results were worse for Obama than anyone thought they could be, the economy is tanking, jobs are evaporating, stock market swings are eroding confidence, his pals in Hollywood are a little too close, the Democratic coalition is fighting amongst themselves, his campaign plan changes daily, his strategy is all ad hoc, his people don't look good on TV, many key allies are convinced for the first time that the president could lose reelection, Michelle's garden is wilting and a major scandal might be brewing over self-serving leaks about sensitive national security matters. All this bad news could only mean one thing — things are about to break the president's way.

When conventional wisdom has reached a universal consensus, it's time to start looking for the opposite to happen.

No kidding, it is way too early to think that an incumbent president can't turn things around or that the campaign trajectory is set. Campaigns come with peaks and valleys.  Obama will climb out of this valley or, more troublesome for Republicans, he could be catapulted out by an unforeseen event that would change the president's fortune overnight.

In the meantime, the tunnel vision that afflicts political analysts has made the problems for the president seem to fill the entire screen; no one wants to be left out or seem out of touch, so everyone piles on. In politics, you never kick a man when he is up. So while he is down, everybody shares their take on how it happened, how bad it is and what it means.

It is June, and it is pundit malpractice to take today's headlines and extrapolate out to the November elections. Most of what will influence a truly undecided voter lies in front of us, not behind us.

I say this not to encourage a beleaguered Obama but to warn Romney and company to plan for the rainy day that is coming.

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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