At this point in the 2010 midterm season, Democrats were grumbling that Obama was not blunt enough in his criticism of the Republicans. In private meetings, Democratic congressional leaders begged him to quit blaming Washington dysfunction, and be more direct in lambasting the opposition party.

The president is showing no reticence to do so now.

In a speech Thursday night at a fundraiser for Democratic governors, Obama lavished praise on the state leaders of his own party.

On the other hand, he said, Republican governors have been “pursuing the same top-down failed economic policies that don’t help Americans get ahead. . . . They’re making it harder for working families to access health insurance. In some states, they’re making it harder even for Americans to exercise their right to vote.”

In past years, Obama has not been as critical of GOP governors. “Unfortunately, you can see it shaping up as a probably negative year,” said Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R).