By DOUGLAS MACKINNON
Posted 08/03/2012 05:33 PM ET
Posted 08/03/2012 05:33 PM ET
The social experiment that was Barack Obama's election and presidency is over. Way over.
As one who was born in the heart of Boston and worked the political world of Washington for 20 years, I know quite a few Democrats. Some are family, and many are close friends. Most voted for Obama in 2008. None at this point is inclined to vote for him in 2012.
Why? Because they view him as an abject failure across the board and have decided to put the welfare of their families and themselves before the empty rhetoric of the Obama campaign before it's too late.
Because of my time in Washington and past positions there, I also know and am friends with quite a few journalists. I speak with many on a regular basis, and it's safe to say that the majority of them lean left politically.
That said, in off-the-record conversations with my left-leaning journalistic friends, not one believes Obama is going to win re-election. Not one. While most believe Mitt Romney to be a weak candidate, they are still convinced that he will comfortably defeat Obama on Nov. 6.
These liberal and jaded journalists privately admit that Obama has been exposed for what he is: an overhyped, self-invented candidate with no real-world experience who has been frozen into inaction by the enormity of the office he holds.
Obama has no domestic policy to speak of. He has no foreign policy to speak of. He has no jobs program to speak of. His signature health care plan is driving doctors out of the field, crippling small businesses and putting thousands of Americans out of work.
The Obama of 2012 has nothing positive to run on. Nothing. And guess what? He, more than anyone else in his White House or campaign, knows it.
He knows his election and presidency were social engineering gone wrong. He knows his biography is unraveling faster than the baseball that Roy Hobbs crushed into the rain in the movie "The Natural." He knows that he has run out of all options but one: Go negative on Mitt Romney 24/7 and hope a heretofore compromised mainstream media will once again unethically act as his surrogate.
Unfortunately for Obama, two massive holes exist in his "demonize Romney with an assist from the media" campaign tactic.
First, most Americans who are paying attention to this contest have come to the conclusion that Romney is a very decent and moral person who does have a fairly impressive business background coupled with some other real-world experience.
Second, as mentioned above, more and more members of the Journalists In The Tank For Obama club seem to be having second thoughts. As one of my friends in that club said, "Hey, we have kids in school, have to pay mortgages and want to keep our jobs just like everyone else."
In 2008, Obama won a fairly impressive victory against an incredibly weak and inept Republican challenger. To pull off that victory, Obama had pull a significant number of Republican and independent voters away from John McCain. To his credit and to his ability to spin himself along with the American voters' sense of fairness and history, Obama did just that.
In 2008, Obama was an unformed piece of pottery clay molded into shape by his own false rhetoric combined with a media narrative that sought to canonize him in anticipation of having his face carved into Mount Rushmore.
Today, in 2012, Barack Obama stands on his own — an unqualified man who did not have the gifts to grow into the presidency.
While noble in many respects, the social experiment that was Barack Obama's election and presidency is coming to its natural and expected conclusion.
• MacKinnon is a former White House and Pentagon official and author of the memoir "Rolling Pennies in the Dark."