David Brooks has a theory.
Barack Obama doesn’t have an impressive record of experience or a unique policy profile. New politics is all he’s got. He loses that, and he loses everything. Every day that he looks conventional is a bad day for him.
Which is his way of saying that if he can’t beat Hillary Clinton without going on the attack and thereby betraying his mantra of “a new kind of politics,” he sure as hell isn’t going to be able to beat the Republicans, who will make the Clinton machine’s attacks look like a love-in.
As the trench warfare stretches on through the spring, the excitement of Obama-mania will seem like a distant, childish mirage. People will wonder if Obama ever believed any of that stuff himself. And even if he goes on to win the nomination, he won’t represent anything new. He’ll just be a one-term senator running for president.
Which is exactly what he wants him to be, because if he’s not, the GOP won’t know how to run against him.