Democrat Perspective: Team Obama Thinks They Have This Race in the Bag

I’m all for believing in your candidate, but the self-delusion of the Obama campaign is bordering on certifiable.  They basically expect minorities to make up far more of the electorate than they ever have when every poll says they are far less enthusiastic than they were in 2008 and will likely show up at the voting booth in far fewer numbers. Maybe they will rally to the cause, but nothing I’m seeing would give me any confidence if I were Team Obama. They also make arguments about voter registration opportunities when the numbers overwhelmingly break against Obama.  Finally they argue Obama is a Reagan-like figure Americans find appealing. I don’t see that winning the day when the jobless rate is so bad and the outlook is not optimistic. But here is Team Obama’s view on the inevitability of their victory:

“We could lose.” That’s David Axelrod, President Obama’s chief reelection strategist, injecting an obligatory note of caution into what is in every other way a “there’s-no-way-we-can-lose” assessment of the campaign. From top to bottom, Obama’s team keeps this self-effacing qualifier around mostly for amusement, like a yo-yo, a balsa-wood airplane, or a paper-clip necklace. Every campaign, of course, believes it’s going to win. Obama’s team, however, conveys such a visceral sense of self-confidence that even protestations to the contrary take on air of comically profane absurdity. “I don’t want you to leave here thinking I’ve got my feet up on my f—— desk and I’m sanguine,” Axelrod says after a 51-minute interview in which he surveys the landscape and finds nothing but roses for Obama and thorns for GOP nominee Mitt Romney. “I’m not! I treat this as a struggle to the end, and we’re going to fight that way.”

“They didn’t give people anything to grab on to, and they allowed us to define him before he could define himself,” Axelrod says of Romney. “And now they are playing catch-up. And now they are running bio ads. The summer is when candidates and races get defined. That’s why we made a strategic decision that it was better to muscle up in the summer. I can’t think of a presidential race determined by paid media after Labor Day.” That’s Axelrod’s understated way of saying—feet-up-on-the-desk protestations notwithstanding—that he thinks the election is already over.


The sources of Team Obama’s bristling reelection conceit certainty can be found in the usual places and within shopworn metaphors (demographics, ground game, approval ratings, likability). But the campaign also enfolds unique cultural and political touchstones: Richard Pryor by way of Chico Marx. Ronald Reagan. John Kerry. And Paul Ryan…A few choice stats that Team Obama likes to ponder: The white share of the population has declined from 79.6 percent to 72.4 percent in the past 32 years. The Hispanic share has grown from 6.4 percent to 16.3 percent. The black population has increased from 11.7 percent to 13.6 percent. In recent surveys, Obama has an approval rating in the high 80s among blacks and high 50s among Hispanics (he averages 37 percent among whites). More important, the share of married couples has fallen from 65 percent in 1980 to 51 percent in 2012, and among single voters Obama’s approval rating is in the mid-50s.

Voter Registration:

One last point: Obama’s ground game has been registering new voters since December; in swing states such as Colorado, Florida, Nevada, and New Mexico, the number of eligible but unregistered Hispanic voters exceeds Obama’s 2008 winning margins in each state (that means there’s plenty of pad if Obama’s team registers new Hispanic voters—even if those Latinos register as independents).


Many in Obama’s inner circle also believe that Obama is the more likable, Reagan-like figure who can remake his party and the nation’s policies. They see Romney as far more like Carter, who never wore well with his party, was prone to awkwardness, and won the nomination by default. They also doubt any comparison to the economic doldrums of then and now and any possibility of a late-breaking shift of Democratic and undecided voters to Romney (as happened with Reagan).


  1. ed rueda
    Posted September 1, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Well the Avg of polls in battle ground states has steadily tightened. It appears O has a difficult ceiling he keeps bouncing off. Two months out Mitt is within 0.2 to 3% in every battle ground state (except Penn). Even in Michigan. Despite the Democrats attempt to define Romney this has not worked and they have burned their money advantage 67 days out of the election!!! The challenger to a “historic” incumbent should not be here. I’m predicting we are at a tipping point. Something will crack here. And the bottom will fall out of the Obama campaign. The most obvious events may be the debates. Don’t discount the Biden/Ryan debate being the catalyst. Maybe once the Independents get a good side by side view of these two candidates, Mitt will appear to be an excellent alternative. Mitt has the message the momentum and the campaign discipline.

    more to follow….

  2. ColoKat
    Posted September 2, 2012 at 8:04 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I have been watching all polls and all stats across the web. While the usual Liberal sites have NObama winning and with leads it appears a bit fishy! When going to more moderate and factual sites, NObama is in definite trouble. I believe his actions more than anything show that he is very worried and that the confidence that the Democratic Party are showing is based partially on Clintons support. But Clinton may not have forgotten NObama’s scathing remarks re: Hillary in ’08 and his speech at the convention may lean a bit more Romney than NObama would like. Polling numbers bounce around but the percentage points are very close and many Americans haven’t even tuned in yet to the election hype. I feel nearly certain that based on Democrats leaving the party, and some Independents becoming Republicans that the win for Romney will be clear a couple of weeks before the election. I sure hope that NObama has a resume’ prepared by January. Most Americans are More moderate or conservative and the population of LGBT is a mere 3-4% of the entire population. Married women-are also more moderate or conservative. Blacks-while NObama claims 97% are for him-I personally can count dozens of blacks who are NOT for him. The blacks that I know tend to like to work and the unemployment rate has hit some pretty hard. Hispanics are traditionally more conservatives than most Republicans-therefore, Romney may appeal to many more than NObama would like to admit. I’m smiling because I’ve been afraid of those particulars until now.

  3. mary ann sacchetti
    Posted September 8, 2012 at 1:17 am | Permalink | Reply

    Why don’t you specify that parts – almost all – of your article are taken from “Confidence Game” written by Major Garrett and published in the National Journal
    on August 22, 2012?

    • Posted September 8, 2012 at 1:42 am | Permalink | Reply

      Ma’am, do you know how blogs work? The very first link I provide is to Major Garrett’s article. Additionally, every portion that is indented reflects the quotes from Garrett’s article. No where is there even an implication on my part than any of the indented material is original work of my own. It is the very nature of a blog to excerpt relevant portions from an article of interest and comment as I have. Thanks for visiting.

3 Trackbacks

  1. By Obama’s Achilles Heel « Battleground Watch on September 4, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    […] regarding the bravado of the Obama campaign campaign seem more and more like whistling past they graveyard as data continues to stream in […]

  2. […] blogged a few times about the seemingly absurd level of confidence emanating from senior Obama campaign officials. I have no problem with them believing in their […]

  3. […] blogged a few times about the seemingly absurd level of confidence emanating from senior Obama campaign officials. I have no problem with them believing in their […]

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