A few weeks ago, I wrote that I was concerned that President Obama had alienated his base by not appearing to stand up for progressive policies. I wrote that his reelection would be a fight, and that people would only fight for a fighter.
Now I'm feeling better about the president's chances, for three reasons.
First, he seems to have found his voice, his inner FDR. He's decided to be the unabashed progressive, taking his argument to the country that his new stimulus plan is needed to revive the economy. I may think that the stimulus isn't stimulating enough, but there's no question that the president is fighting hard for his own plan. Both his base and independents that just want a leader who knows what he believes in should be feeling better about Obama.
Second, the Occupy Wall Street movement is helping to wake up the left. Now, I realize that #ows isn't exclusively progressive, but it leans heavily in that direction. I also know that the movement isn't entirely thrilled with the president, but my theory is that anything that energizes the left as a counter to the tea party energy on the right will end up being good for Obama.
And finally President Obama is blessed with weak opponents. From Michelle Bachman implying that Herman (the Herminator) Cain is really the devil in pizza man's clothing, to Ron Paul losing an eyebrow on national television, to Rick Perry (a true believer in staying true to the will of the Founding Fathers) believing that the American Revolution began before they were born, to Mitt Romney desperately trying to explain that the health care law he passed in Massachusetts was really forced on him by aliens in his sleep, these guys are wonderful. The best thing that could happen to Barack Obama is that the Republican debates go on for six more months.
President Obama isn't perfect, but he's so much better, so much more fundamentally sane, grounded, and competent than any of his potential opponents that I like his chances come next November.