[Ed. – Starting?]
For all of the talk about “hope” and “change” — and both were powerful slogans for Obama in 2008 — the core of Obama’s appeal to many independents and even some Republicans was the idea that he would restore competence back to the White House after President George W. Bush’s eight years, years defined by mistaken intelligence about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction and a mishandling of the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Katrina on the Gulf Coast….
As conservative columnist Jeff Jacoby writes in the Boston Globe: “Running to succeed the deeply polarizing George W. Bush, Obama held himself out not just as a leader who would never ‘pit red America against blue America,‘ but as a natural-born manager whose hallmark was smarts and competence.”
Which is what makes the series of problems within his administration of late all the more politically problematic for Democrats trying to hold onto their Senate majority — and narrow their House minority — this November.