Obama campaign manager: Hey, we're actually ahead of where we were at this time in 2008

An impromptu pep talk for Obama Nation after a miserable week from Jim “Punch Back Twice as Hard” Messina, who pushes not one but two lies in the first 90 seconds or so here. One: He seriously wants you to believe that Obama’s in better shape electorally now than he was four years ago, when he was a cultural phenomenon being touted as some sort of budding savior of mankind. You shouldn’t need poll numbers to confirm for you what horseshinola that is, but in case you do, Jim Geraghty’s got the link. Go here and scroll through RCP’s list of results for May-June 2008 to see how “badly” O was doing back then. Gut-check time for our three pro-Obama readers: Whose chances were you more confident in, the Jesus figure of four years ago who got to blame George Bush for all of America’s problems or the guy who’s run up $5 trillion in new debt and passed a widely unpopular health-care law while the economy’s remained in a coma for three years?

Two: Messina says, “We knew this was going to be a tough race. And we knew that once Mitt Romney locked up the nomination, Republicans would get behind him and this race would be tight.” Really? Didn’t sound like they thought things would be tough in April:

Some of Obama’s old Chicago allies however, say they worry that the campaign is getting a little too cocky. Months of blockbuster economic data were interrupted by a March jobs report that missed expectations. Obama allies fear that the president’s team will get caught flatfooted on the economy if growth slows down between now and Election Day.

There are also already the first signs of campaign infighting, like the flap last week over a Jewish liaison whose embarrassing Facebook photographs prompted jabs from senior Democrats at Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, viewed by some in Chicago as a bit too interested in her own path to power and the House Speakership, too little concerned with the re-election campaign. And to say that the campaign doesn’t fear Romney is an understatement — he’s viewed as almost a joke. (The campaign named their sixth floor elevators for cars to mock Romney’s planned over-the-top addition to his La Jolla, CA home.)…

[Axelrod] also projects the confidence that permeates the sixth floor of the old Prudential Building. The Republican Primary has been, he chortled, “kind of a calamity for them.”

More from Byron York, writing at the time:

Meanwhile, politically savvy liberals outside the White House are worried that many, perhaps most, Democrats aren’t taking Romney seriously, either. “I wonder the degree to which Democrats and liberals and progressives are underestimating the formidable nature of the Romney campaign,” MSNBC’s Hayes asked Bloomberg View columnist Jonathan Alter on Sunday.

“Totally underestimating,” Alter replied. “I run into people all the time who say, ‘Obama’s got this.’ They don’t know what they’re talking about.”

Amazing what a few bad jobs reports can do to concentrate the mind. Exit question: BuzzFeed reported this morning that 88 percent of Obama’s donors from 2008 haven’t kicked in yet this time. Is that another sign of how much better positioned he is in 2012? Leave me your theories in the comments.

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Beege Welborn 8:01 PM on February 03, 2023