The president views a second term in some ways as a second chance, an opportunity to approach the office differently, according to close aides. He would like to tackle issues such as climate change, immigration, education and filibuster reform.
Usually, the incumbent’s pitch to the voters is as follows:
- I have done a good job for you.
- There are things that I want to get done in a new term and that I believe are achievable. Here is a list of those things, here is why they are important to accomplish and here is how we can achieve them.
- The other side can’t or won’t achieve those things.
In going to the voters and asking for a mulligan, the president is largely skipping over step one. And who can blame him? It’s not as though he can claim that he has done much of a good job during his first term. Meanwhile, the Romney campaign needs to make clear to voters that a second term is not supposed to be a second chance. It’s supposed to be a reward for a job well done in the first term, along with a validation of an agenda for a second term. If the president is asking for a second chance, he is implicitly admitting that he squandered the first one.
And given that admission, he shouldn’t be re-hired for another four years. Rather, he should be sent home.