Barack Obama not yet understanding that he needs to be irrelevant to 2016.

This should be fascinating to watch: “In recent weeks, Democratic operatives have begun to voice concerns that the 2014 midterms made plain the limits of an approach that failed to reach beyond minority groups or those who are reflexively liberal. And yet what should come next is not yet totally clear.” Largely because it’s essentially futile. The Democrats will not have control over their message in 2016, because in our system a sitting President has tremendous power to define for the public what his political faction does or does not care about.

And the bear is loose:

[Barack] Obama feels liberated, aides say, and sees the recent flurry of aggressive executive action and deal-making as a pivot for him to spend the last two years being more of the president he always wanted to be.

I don’t often feel sympathy for my opposite numbers – and, in fact, in this case I still don’t. But if I were to feel sympathy, it’d be in the way that they’re going to have to spend the next two years going Never mind Barack Obama without actually looking like they’re going Never mind Barack Obama. Because while Barack Obama’s popularity generally is in the toilet*, it’s noticeably better among Democratic primary voters. Which means that the Democrats can’t actually tell Barack Obama to sit down and shaddap.

In case you’re wondering: yes, normally second-term Presidents don’t need to be told this. Generally speaking the sitting President gets out of the way as gracefully as possible so that the eventual nominee from their party can get on with the remarkably difficult task of winning three elections in a row. Fortunately (for my side), nobody bothered to tell Barack Obama that. Or maybe he doesn’t care. Or – and this would be the best answer – the man still hasn’t come to terms with the limits to his competence, and Obama thinks that he can (chuckle, snort!) help

Moe Lane (crosspost)

PS: If Barack Obama thinks that what was going this session was ‘deal-making’ (instead of, say, ‘trying to work around an over-rated Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV)Heritage ActionScorecardSen. Harry Reid10%Senate Democrat AverageSee Full Scorecard10%‘), we will probably find next year to be quite amusing, in its way.

*I should note, by the way, that his reputation will recover, post-Presidency. …read more    

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