While acknowledging that President “Obama will be difficult to beat” in 2012, Byron York reminds us that a few years back, the conventional wisdom held that another incumbent, riding much higher in the opinion polls than the Democrat is now, would also be tough to knock off:
In early March 1991, all the smart people in politics knew one thing about the upcoming 1992 campaign: President George H.W. Bush was unbeatable. . . .
“Will anybody run against George Bush in 1992?” asked Juan Williams in the Washington Post on March 10, 1991. “There are no candidate footprints in the pristine snows of New Hampshire this winter and the Iowa cornfields are untrampled.”
York believes that “whatever the differences,” between this year and 1991, “the similarity is that for Republicans, victory is possible for a candidate with daring, confidence, and skill.” Read the whole thing.
Not just that, in 2012, Obama can’t run as a well-spoken blank slate running against Washington and promising change. He, as I wrote last week, “hasn’t been the change agent he promised to be. He isn’t the new kind of post partisan politician presented to us in the presidential campaign.”
To win a second different, Barack Obama is going to have to change his narrative from the one who used to great effect in 2008. And he’s untested running as the insider defending the status quo.