Winners act like winners. Losers act like losers. And according to members of the same media elite who have spent months protecting him, Barack Obama is now looking like a loser in the closing days of his reelection campaign. This morning, a few members of the elite "Gang of 500," including Time's Mark Halperin, The National Journal's Ron Fournier, ABC's Terry Moran, and Politico's Roger Simon, publicly voiced their disapproval of a campaign they describe as "belittling," "not confident," "peevish" and worse:
In 1984, President Reagan ran on "Morning In America." In 1996, President Clinton ran on a "Bridge to the 21st Century." In the final days of successful reelection campaigns, both Reagan and Clinton offered a unifying message meant to bring the country together. Their closing arguments were uplifting, forward-looking, and optimistic.
Flash-forward to 2012 and all we've seen from the man who promised us hope, change, and a new kind of politics is a nakedly cynical divide and conquer crusade that's only gotten worse in its closing days. While Romney focuses his closing argument on the future, his agenda, and the realities of governing, our president is literally going all in on Big Bird, contraception, Binder-gate, "Romnesia," and aids flanking him at rallies holding signs that read: "Women's Health Security."
This smallness and naked desperation is not only apparent, it's familiar. I don't mean to pick at an old scab, but in the closing days of the '08 campaign, we saw the same kind of behavior from John McCain. He knew he was losing and in a desperate bid to gain traction, his message became erratic (suspending the campaign) and small (Joe the Plumber).
Probably with good reason, Barack Obama is also not acting like a winner. So bad is his behavior, in fact, that he's given Romney a massive opening to declare Obama's behavior "unpresidential." Wasn't it just a few weeks ago that Romney was beaten senseless for his lack of substance? The secret's out: Obama has no second-term agenda.
But the real problem is that Obama's run out of nonsense to hurl. That's why he's left with "Romnesia" and binders. Certainly, the corrupt media's been happy to go along with any nonsense Obama offers them, but guys like Halperin aren’t stupid. They know this silliness only serves to diminish the president and won't move a single vote. Moreover, they know it likely means that the campaign is panicking over internal polling that shows it all going the wrong way.
I'm not predicting a Romney victory, but with the polls as erratic as they are, one way to gauge where things are is by looking at the behavior of the candidates.