Does the Obama health-care law cover Pampers as part of its preventive-care provisions? If so, the president’s team might want to distribute some in Chicago right now as part of a survival kit.
The Obama campaign in 2008 famously derided people who overreact to pressure and setbacks in campaigns as “bed-wetters.” Today, they are out in force.
Articles similar to Karen Tumulty’s in the Post this morning on Democrats worrying about Obama have been written on every presidential campaign in recent history, including the 2008 Obama campaign. These articles all have similar themes: Campaign has become insular; candidates are off their game; some obvious alternative strategy has been ignored. In confident campaigns, such as Obama's in 2008, these articles are easily ignored. But in campaigns where doubt has replaced bravado, they can feed more negativity.
What will the reaction be inside the Obama camp to what is a crescendo of stories saying the team is losing its mojo? In a sense, this is what I was talking about in a recent post on how people react to failure. Do they make an honest assessment and readjust or do they double down, withdraw or lash out?
Obama's recent woes are driven by a combination of external events, such as bad unemployment numbers, and the candidate's performance, including his “private sector is doing fine” comment. But the larger question is whether the campaign's strategy needs to adapt. Some old pros like James Carville and Stan Greenberg say yes. Early indications from Chicago, where they are working on a major speech that the president will deliver tomorrow, are that he is “not likely to unveil new ideas to boost the economy and create new jobs....”
So for now, the strategy remains in place. Chicago is doubling down. The stakes just got higher.