The Corner

Obama’s Overrated Political Skill

If it looks like President Obama has been flailing lately, it’s because he is. Remember: He has never really had to fight for votes outside the Democratic base. He lost a Democratic primary to Bobby Rush (his biggest political setback) and won the primary contest against Hillary Clinton (his most impressive political victory). But he had an out-of-state fringe opponent in his 2004 Senate race, and in 2008 he benefited from possibly the most favorable circumstances for a non-incumbent since 1932. He has no experience at winning over non-liberal voters (as opposed to having them fall into his lap). And it shows.

Ramesh Ponnuru — Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg View, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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