I'm not sure how many of the voters actually loved Barack Obama when they voted for him in November 2008, but they certainly saw him as the best choice to be the president of the United States.
Are they regretting that decision now? Perhaps. Perhaps not. But as the Los Angeles Times notes this morning, there is no guarantee those critical swing voters will turn up at the polls again this November to assist the president's party in holding on to its majorities in both houses of Congress.
President Obama might be able to do something about that, but it will require him to do something he's so far shown little interest in doing -- fight like hell.
What choice does he have? Consider what he can bring to this fight (and I use that term carefully):
1. The bully pulpit that is the White House. Let's face it, when the president does something -- anything! -- it is news. He can drum up the rhetoric about failed GOP economic policies and be assured of instant media attention.
2. His ability to resonate with young people. If folks in that age group (and for purposes of this post, I consider that to be 18-24) want to see the momentum from 2008 continue, then Mr. Obama had better fire up the e-mail, Twitter, MySpace, Facebook and texting machines, and they'd better go non-stop from now until Nov. 2. If he can rally their support and bring them back to the polls, his party stands a chance on Election Day.
3. W. The GOP continues to lack a leader (Sarah Palin? Come on!), so in the absence of one, the president ought to use his underlings to bring back the Democrats' favorite Bobo Doll -- George W. Bush. Imagine an argument like this -- "He and his party are the reason we got into this deep, deep mess to begin with. Do you really want them to be involved in fixing it?"
Mr. Obama swept into office in part on his promise of not doing business as usual. That "hey, I'm cool" attitude worked but only for a short time. He now has to admit that was a mistake and come out fighting. Just like his predecessor did -- because regardless of your opinion of George Bush, he certainly engendered respect (or hatred) because you knew exactly where he stood.
It's time for this president to do the same.