Obama, February 2009: If this economy hasn't rebounded in three years, I'm a one-termer

I’m stealing this from Ace, who in turn stole it from this guy, but the theft is justified in the interest of circulating such a devastating clip. The key bit comes at 4:20. If, like me, you hadn’t seen it until today, rest assured that you’ll be seeing it again in about 8,000 different GOP attacks ads next year. It’s a killer twice over: Not only does it preempt the “Bush’s recession” narrative that The One will inevitably resort to once he gets desperate (Debbie Downer is feeding Republicans lots of ammo against that point, thankfully), but it’s lethal to the White House’s new messaging calling for patience on the economy. Remember when he used to talk about “the fierce urgency of now”? That’s the old Obama; the new Obama is more of a “it’s going to take time” kind of guy. I’ll leave you to the clip below of the man himself to explain how much time, reasonably, it should take.

Sometimes I read stuff like this and think he really misses the old Obama:

“It’s not as cool to be an Obama supporter as it was in 2008, with the posters and all of that stuff,” he acknowledged to an intimate gathering of donors in Miami this week.

It’s a line he delivered with a chuckle, a variation on a theme that he is using with his base of supporters. But it holds an important truth for the Obama campaign: Obama is now a known quantity and he will not inspire voters this election the same way he did in the previous one…

To hear First Lady Michelle Obama tell it, the president has even had to reassure her at times…

“Barack always reminds me that we’re playing a long game here. He reminds me that change is slow.”

Right, but not so slow that he’d predict a one-term presidency for himself in 2009 if he didn’t have the economy on the mend as of six months from now. As a gloss on that, I’m giving you a second clip below of a woman so exasperated by the reality of American unemployment that her best bet to put some food on the table for her kids is … to sell the handwritten letter she received from Obama. It’s a perfect complement to the 2009 clip: He started out as a mega-celebrity tasked with fixing the economy, and three years later the economy’s still so broken that cashing in on his celebrity is some people’s best financial option. At this point, his time’s probably best spent autographing stuff and mailing it out to Americans randomly so that the lucky recipients can sell it for a few hundred or thousand bucks and pay the rent. From an industrial economy to a service economy to a Wonka-ticket economy. Change indeed.

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