President Obama Braces for the GOP

Article excerpt

Byline: Tina Brown

As the republican candidates reach their O.K. Corral, the president prepares for the next gunfight.

Barack Obama must be relieved to see the Republican posse that was galloping after him suddenly turn on itself in ways that elevate his own stature by the minute. Who'd have believed that preverbal Rick Perry could come up with a coinage as crackerjack as "vulture capitalist" to characterize Mitt Romney's business career? Who'd have imagined that a Newt Gingrich super PAC would be behind When Mitt Romney Came to Town, a wounding documentary about the GOP frontrunner vs. the workers? And who would have thought that the youth-vote cult figure would turn out to be--Ron Paul? He's a throwback from a mythical Paleolithic era when there was one phone in the White House and the president was so unencumbered with bureaucracy he answered it himself. I guess that makes him not passe but vintage, which right now, for Obama, also makes him nonthreatening.

Bill Clinton famously said that elections are never about the past, they're about the future. That's what Obama so thrillingly represented when, like an emissary from a glowing tomorrow, he stepped out of his time machine and asked us to join him in a future as weightless as he is. No one could have imagined that four years later most Americans would feel they've gone backward and downward. The candidate from the future became the president who fell to earth, beleaguered by the chaos of the contentious age he landed in.

The worst thing that can happen to a company--except perhaps for Herman Cain's Godfather's Pizza--is for a former executive to run for office. …