For Democratic talking points, it’s 1936 all over again
The differences between America in 1936 and America 76 years later hardly matter. In a time of genuine economic anxiety, as now, Team Obama has chosen a plausible strategy: During tough times, the government will be there for you.
However, the differences between Barack Obama and Franklin Roosevelt as retail politicians do matter in 2012. The Obama campaign can borrow Roosevelt’s content, but they can’t teach Barack Obama how to be FDR.
FDR’s 1936 speech, however tough and accusatory, had Roosevelt’s natural personal buoyancy. Barack Obama has no such gift for popular uplift. Reagan and Bill Clinton had it, and it was an underestimated piece of George W. Bush’s two successful presidential runs.