Dick Durbin: I can't help but think Obama might be held responsible for this economy

I’m being cute with the headline, mainly in light of Robert Reich’s dopey claim that voters will blame “incumbents” for the economy next year instead of Obama and his party. Durbin’s take is more realistic — for now. Check back with him in a year, though, in the heat of the campaign, if we’re still seeing gruesome stories like this and ask him if he thinks it’s okay to lay everything off on Bush. I’ve got a crazy hunch he’ll have warmed to the idea.

Now then: Democrats aren’t seriously thinking of embracing a this “messaging,” are they?

As you might have seen, my colleagues Jeff Zeleny and Jim Rutenberg did a nice job of previewing President Obama’s re-election campaign in a front page article on Sunday. One line in particular jumped out at me: “With their hopes dashed of substantial improvement in unemployment anytime soon, aides indicated that the theme was likely to be less ‘morning in America’ and more ‘don’t change horses in midstream.’”

I’m certainly no political strategist, let alone one who’s gotten a president elected. But that said, am I the only one who wonders if this might be kind of a boneheaded construct?

That’s from Matt Bai, whose big problem with the “horse” analogy appears to be that Americans are perfectly comfortable switching horses in midstream these days in all sorts of ways. Er, okay, but I’m thinking the bigger problem with it might be that the water’s gotten so high that we’re all about to drown. Normally that’s the perfect time to switch horses in midstream, right? The water’s rising, inexorably, right up to your nose, and — oh look, there’s another horse. Let’s climb on. The “morning in America” message, as surreal as it is in these circumstances, is actually better because at least it implies dramatic change to come. As it is, we’re just wading deeper into a deep river.

Exit question: Remember three years ago when The One more than doubled McCain’s electoral vote take? Here’s what he’s been reduced to. Click the image to watch.