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Past His Prime

Like Michael Phelps, who breaks a record nearly every time he dives into the pool, Obama sets records almost every day. Sunday was no different. He has a new high mark for disapproval at Realclearpolitics.com, at 51.2 percent, and a new low, at 44.5 percent. And a new record spread, at 6.7 points.

To carry out the sports analogy, he now acts like an aging athlete with only memories of past glories to keep his spirits up. The Washington Post observes that “without Obama on the ballot this year, his grass-roots network is a shadow of its former self. And with just five weeks before the midterm elections, Obama’s political advisers acknowledge that transferring the goodwill he cultivated over a historic presidential bid to an array of other Democrats has proved difficult.” Umm, it’s also proved difficult for him to retain that goodwill. Ah, well, they’ll always have Iowa.

Meanwhile, he is playing in minor league venues:

President Obama will swoop into the heartland this week in a high-stakes bid to boost enthusiasm for Democrats by reigniting the coalition of young and minority voters who were critical to his success two years ago. … So on Tuesday in Madison, Obama will stage the first in a series of rallies on college campuses designed to persuade what some call his “surge” voters — the roughly 15 million Americans who voted for the first time in 2008 – to return to the polls this fall.

Five weeks to the election and he is still working on getting minority voters and college kids to turn out for him!? I can tell you, college kids are not going to turn out en masse for a midterm election. The Obama girls, the rock videos — where have they all gone? The Post trips down memory lane:

The students on this leafy, generally liberal campus once constituted one of the strongest battalions in Obama’s grass-roots army. Two years later, the political dynamic has changed. Across campus, stickers, signs or chalkings for any politician are scarce. The laundromat where Obama’s young volunteers once staged late-night phone banks and planned bus trips to neighboring Iowa has gone out of business. And some students who say they voted for Obama in 2008 now say they don’t even know who’s on the ballot this fall.

Now the kids are all about football and grades:

On Saturday, student organizers waved signs outside Camp Randall Stadium as thousands of fans filed out of the football game. The Badgers won in a rout, and the young Democrats tried to break through the excitement of the game with perhaps a more exciting announcement: “President Obama on campus Tuesday!”

Some fans gave thumbs up or yelled “Go, Obama!” Others responded disapprovingly, as in “How’s that hope and change working out for you?” Hundreds more walked past in their red-and-white gear without paying any attention.

One student, showing her flair for the art of understatement, intones that “the euphoria has dimmed down.” Well, that’s one way of putting it.


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