Dr. K. says that Obamaism is over:
White House apologists will say the Virginia Democrat was weak. If the difference between Bob McDonnell and Creigh Deeds was so great, how come when the same two men ran against each other statewide for attorney general four years ago the race was a virtual dead heat? Which made the ’09 McDonnell-Deeds rematch the closest you get in politics to a laboratory experiment for measuring the change in external conditions. Run them against each other again when it’s Obamaism in action and see what happens. What happened was a Republican landslide.
The Obama coattails of 2008 are gone. The expansion of the electorate, the excitement of the young, came in uniquely propitious Democratic circumstances and amid unparalleled enthusiasm for electing the first African-American president.
November ’08 was one-shot, one-time, never to be replicated. Nor was November ’09 a realignment. It was a return to the norm — and definitive confirmation that 2008 was one of the great flukes in American political history.
One of the reasons that I called it wrong last year was that it was such a perfect storm of unforeseeable events. In 2012 (or even next year), the president won’t be able to repeat his Rorschach act, and be all things to all people. He’s now a much better-known quantity and a lot of people aren’t liking what they’ve learned, and what the press did such a good job of hiding from them last year. Plus, the voters have assuaged their racial guilt by voting for him once, and will now feel no need to continue the punishment by doing so again.
[Update a few minutes later]
Barack Obama’s mandate gap.