In an interview released Monday by National Public Radio, President Obama made clear what’s long been suspected by White House observers — he believes Democratic politicians sowed the seeds of their own defeat in November by failing to support his “great record” as president.
Before he departed for his Hawai’i vacation, Obama sat down with NPR’s Steve Inskeep at the White House for a year-end review. At one point, Inskeep asked the president if there was anything he planned to change about his approach to Congress.
While briefing noting that his outreach efforts to Capitol Hill could be improved, President Obama soon began lamenting November’s outcome, placing the blame largely on congressional Democrats.
“I’m obviously frustrated with the results of the midterm election,” he said. “I think we had a great record for members of Congress to run on. And I don’t think we — myself, and the Democratic Party — made as good of a case as we should have. And, you know, as a consequence we had really low voter turnout, and the results were bad.”
After spending most of the year as his party’s punching bag, President Obama likely feels vindicated by the post-midterm political landscape. Executive action on immigration and a strengthening economy appears to have paid off at the polls — though a Real Clear Politics average puts the increase in job approval rating at less than 2 percent between November 4 and December 27.