There certainly has not been a shortage of excitement over which to dwell in the last few weeks. Sarah Palin finally stopped flirting with the idea of running for candidacy just in time for Chris Christie to renew the gossip with whispers of his possible entry into the fray.
Amidst all this focus on Republican potentials, it is sometimes easy to forget that the president in the White House will be embarking upon the same campaign trail.
Indeed, it seems that President Obama has exhausted his supply of “hope” and “change that people can believe in.” It is true his approval ratings remain dismally low, and, since even former Presidents Reagan and Truman had begun rebounds in popularity by this point in their first terms, President Obama appears to be quite vulnerable.
That is why now is exactly the right time for him to start striking a more partisan and bold tone with Republicans on the hill.
With his last bill that called for tax hikes on the rich and provoked howls of class warfare from the Republicans, President Obama has begun to do just that. While this might sound like madness for a president barely treading water, a return to his political roots is just what he needs.
After having moved towards the center for the last two years to hammer out compromises, Obama lost a lot of the sparkle that originally inspired his fan base to vote him into the Oval Office.
Not that this is entirely new. The “honeymoon” phase of every political career ends at some point, but Obama lost a lot of motivated campaigners by what appears to his supporters as dealing too fast and too loose across the aisle.
Obama won in 2008 by appearing bold, assertive and determined in a way that really inspired the young to go out and vote. Perhaps realizing that Congressional approval ratings are even worse than his, it now seems that Obama is ready to take a more solid stance on taxes and economic recovery (which may be a harbinger of things to come).
This could be quite a bold move, since the public is clearly still angry about the economy and in search of a scapegoat. That said, fortune favors the bold, and no one wants a weak-looking president.
As the Republican candidates turn up the rhetorical heat, look for Obama to do the same.