Campaign 2012 started officially last night but it sounded more like a throwback to 2008.
We heard the same lines (“a new era has begun” and a similar tone (Washington is bad) that we heard two years ago
One problem: Obama has been in Washington for a while now. You can’t credibly paint yourself as an outsider when you err, um, live at the city’s most famous and iconic address.
He started with a lecture on history, and ended by cementing his own: defiance, and delusion – personified.
Rather than tack to the middle, Obama remained firmly planted in leftist ground and chained to his unpopular agenda.
On the night when he was supposed to be celebrating a health care victory, President Obama was still trying to force feed a bill that is unsalvageable and driving his party off a cliff, while simultaneously dividing it.
Not only did he accept zero responsibility for his own shortcomings, he took James Carville’s advice and foolishly - and repeatedly -- blamed George Bush! That just made him look incompetent and unable to figure out things on his own.
Politically speaking, Obama needed to win back the independents and swing voters the Democrats are hemorrhaging. The speech didn't do that.
Perhaps he figured that the speech wouldn’t matter all that much in the grand scheme of things. Not everyone was watching, so why not stay the course?
Simply stated: why right the ship of state now? How about just trimming the sails ever so slightly?
In 2008, Barack Obama cast himself as the All-Things-to-all-People-President. He was a man who offered nothing new and someone who appeared, bizarrely, even more detached from reality than usual. Saying that he was “confident” and “hopeful” might have been seen as a positive, but it didn't capture the mood of the nation and certainly doesn't explain – now that it’s January 2010 -- why it took him 12 months to focus on jobs and the economy.
Obama draped himself in his failures and his vulnerabilities last night and wore them as a badge of honor. Refusing to back down and adhere to the wishes of the electorate, he exuded the kind of stubbornness last seen in the man with whom he shoulders blame: George W. Bush.
Our commander in chief told Diane Sawyer this week, “I'd rather be a really good one-term president than a mediocre two-term president," but he didn’t say for whom he’d like to be that kind of president. Last night the answer became clear: himself.
Andrea Tantaros is a conservative commentator and FoxNews.com contributor. Follow her on Twitter: @andreatantaros.
Andrea Tantaros currently serves as co-host of Fox News Channel's The Five (weekdays 5-6 PM/ET). She joined the network as a contributor in 2010. Follow her on Twitter @andreatantaros or on Facebook.com/andreatantaros. Click here for more information on Andrea Tantaros.