Does Obama want to lose in 2012? I can see where he might. Down in the polls, faced with intractable issues -- or at least issues that aren't susceptible to his brand of leftism -- and increasingly being branded as an incompetent, he might just think that being out of the presidency (like Bill Clinton) and raking in tens of millions of dollars a year in speaking fees and book contracts, all the while being in a position where you can be cheered by the still significant throngs of your supporters, looks pretty good. How else can you explain his two recent statements, which for any other Presidential candidate would be viewed as "gaffes."
First, Obama said America was "going soft." Many have commented on this statement, noting Obama's pathetic tendency to blame everyone else, including the American people, for his failures. But think of it purely on a political level. (You know the people around Obama think that way.) Isn't this an almost suicidal meme to put out? No politician who wanted to get elected President would be going around saying that the problem is that the American people have "gone soft." Why is Obama doing it?
Now, over the weekend, he is shown with ABC News saying that America is not better off than they were four years ago. Again, think of this on a purely political level. This is the essential question that every President running for reelection has had to answer since Carter-Reagan in 1980. And Obama is conceding the point? On camera? To a friendly interviewer? Does he have a political death wish? Maybe this is a grander grand strategy, in which Obama wants to be admit the line of attack that Republicans will undoubtedly use in order to defuse it. Or maybe he wants to highlight how things are so bad because he wants to run on a theme that it's the Republicans fault. But, seriously, this sort of thing is hard to understand for someone who really wants to get re-elected.
Dick Morris was quoted last week saying he thinks Obama will pull an LBJ and withdraw from the race. I find that hard to believe, but we're living in very weird times when a President is speaking out loud the way Obama is right now.