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Obama Pleads for His Base to Turn Out

This report tells us a lot about where Obama stands politically and the degree to which he has frittered away the promise of his candidacy:

The Democratic National Committee this morning released this clip of the president rallying the troops, if rather coolly, for 2010. Obama’s express goal: “reconnecting” with the voters who voted for the first time in 2008, but who may not plan to vote in the lower-profile Congressional elections this year.

Obama speaks with unusual demographic frankness about his coalition in his appeal to “young people, African-Americans, Latinos, and women who powered our victory in 2008 [to] stand together once again.”

Several things are noteworthy. First, so much for the post-racial presidency. We are back to naked pleas for racial solidarity. This comes from a man who told us that there were no Blue States or Red States, and that we should stop carving up the electorate into ethnic and racial groups. It was moving and appropriate and now it’s inoperative.

Second, this also suggests that just about everyone else in the electorate is a lost cause — whites, men, independents, and older voters. The Obama coalition has fractured — a little later than Hillary Clinton predicted, but it has. It seems he is reduced to the core left, not a recipe for successful governance or re-election.

And finally, the Democrats are in big, big trouble if they are banking on casual voters, especially young people, to turn out in large numbers in a midterm election. I’ll go out on a limb (I really don’t have to, because you can look at the turnout in New Jersey and Virginia) — the electorate in 2010 is not going to resemble the 20o8 electorate. It will be older and more conservative. In other words, the Democrats are throwing a Hail Mary.


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