The cadres of college students and recent graduates who swooned and fainted for Barack Obama four years ago will long be remembered for one of the most ill-considered fliers in the annals of self-defeating enthusiasms. In the cold light of day, the youthful idealists, believers and activists of 2008 look like the lamentable saps, patsies and suckers of 2012. …

Obama’s inability to deliver on a recovery worthy of the name has devastated recent college grads. By one count, half are unemployed or underemployed. More of them are carrying debt from college, more than 60 percent, than have full-time employment. …

If man doesn’t live by bread alone, neither does the youthful Obama voter. He is attracted to the president’s social views, to his supposedly forward-looking progressivism, to what his historic election symbolized in 2008, to his cool and cerebral style. Obama hasn’t created the conditions for them to get a decent job, but he can represent their mutual values.