Republicans have misunderstood Obama from the beginning. Not that they ever meant to understand him. He was just something like a disease they were waiting to recover from. This was a miscalculation in many ways. One of his many traits which they misapprehended was the “no drama” thing. I misapprehended it too, during his first election bid, but I came to appreciate it once he started governing.
The GOP made a lazy mistake in interpreting it as “passivity” or “weakness” and subsequently built up in their minds a fictictious Obama who only dithers and delays and is, consequently, a pushover. Perhaps their idea of a president is still George W. DeciderMan, who was more than happy to strut about doing an impression of how a leader should act that someone like the former North Korean president Kim Il Sung may have appreciated. Then the GOP compounded the error when they structured their campaign to run against this non-person, focusing instead on a bad unemployment number, and assumed they could run against that.
Oops. They forgot that Obama took on the Clinton machine, and beat it. Oh. The guy is actually competitive. And GOOD AT IT. Well, maaaaaaaaaaybe 2008 was a fluke! Hope, inspiration, all that stuff. And then again, maaaaaaaaybe it wasn’t. Should have thought that one though. Too late now.