Begala acknowledged that Obama moved the Democratic party beyond what Clinton achieved.
“[Obama] took us into the 21st century. His coalition is so impressive. Clinton was very strong with African-Americans and Latinos. So was Obama. But Obama has really just exploded the Democratic advantage with young people,” Begala said. “The interesting thing is Asian-Americans voted overwhelmingly against Clinton, and overwhelmingly for Obama. He’s growing in all the political constituencies that a political party wants to grow in. This guy is a phenom.”
But Begala questioned whether the Democrats can hold the gains Obama brought them in 2008 and 2012.
“If the Democrats can lock that in — again, this is what Clinton used to say but it applies to Obama, too. Clinton used to say, ‘I don’t just want to be Michael Jordan, who played the game real well, but then when he retired, you know, the Bulls lost. I want to set up something more permanent,” Begala said. “And I’m quite sure that’s the way President Obama is viewing things. And the question will be, ‘Can Democrats hold the Obama coalition without Obama?’”