Commentary Magazine


Didn’t He Win the Election Already?

Barack Obama is back to being candidate Obama instead of President Obama, making a campaign-style trip to Elkhart, Indiana. If you think it wasn’t a campaign redux, just read the New York Times (h/t Mark Hemmingway):

Wrapping himself in the mandate of his election last November, Mr. Obama sounded like a candidate all over again, scolding greedy Wall Street bankers and pointedly rejecting Republican critics for sticking with what he called a failed philosophy. At one point, he spoke about people with as many as five homes, which sounded like a reference to his opponent last fall, Senator John McCain.

I dunno’ — doesn’t he think we should do better than to ”posture and bicker” or resort to such “childish things” at a time like this?

And why did he go there? Well, to highlight the high unemployment. But, as Michael Barone explains, it’s not clear the Obama administration will help matters:

But why does Elkhart have such exceptionally high unemployment? The answer is that it is, as a promotional website tells us, “The RV Capital of the World.” RV sales are down this year, and I don’t suppose they’ll be helped by the cap-and-trade system that Obama and most Democrats want to impose on our economy. Yes, Elkhart County trended hugely to Obama. George W. Bush carried it 70 percent to 29 percent in 2004, and, Obama lost it by only 55 percent to 44 percent in 2008. Obama made those gains because of what people in Elkhart County thought George Bush failed to deliver. Now Obama must deliver himself.

This is the first president we’ve had in a long time (ever?) who sounded more presidential when he was a candidate. Maybe it’s just all wearing a bit thin.