Last night in Boston, President Obama faced a half-empty hotel ballroom at a fundraiser for his pal, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, who is unpopular and facing a difficult re-election campaign. Instead of confidence, he actually expressed doubt:
"There really should be no doubt that this guy gets a second term. But let's be honest. This is going to be a tough race ... "
Jules Crittenden has a hilarious blog post on the dismal portents for Obama and Patrick, titled "Maybe we can't," delving into the event and the press reaction. A sample:
Read the whole thing.
Boston Globe helpfully plays down and buries five long graphs down but can't quite ignore Obama's low draw:
Sweeping into town for the fund-raiser and to deliver a speech on clean energy at MIT, Obama said Patrick deserves credit for implementing near-universal health care, investing in education, and making the alternative energy and biotech industries a priority. If voters fail to recognize this hard work in next year's state election, the president said, it will not bode well for the United States.
I'm sorry. It's about lowering expectations and claiming dire consequences for the very nation itself if the agenda doesn't get pushed. Maybe what he means is, 2010 losses won't bode well for US ... as in "we" ... in 2012. Because, he suggests, it will effectively render him a lame duck.
Otherwise, Obama said, other political leaders will say "then maybe I shouldn't, as a member of Congress or as a senator, take some chances and take some tough stands in pursuit of that same vision.''
Damn, for an early first-term mandate holder, he's not sounding very confident. But facing addressing all those empty chairs in blue Mass must have been disheartening.