Can Democrats Regroup by 2012?

Thursday, 14 Oct 2010 08:30 AM

By Jon Friedman

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It's getting serious. The steady drumbeat of despair in the Democratic Party is telling a big story for the near-term future of the United States.

The pundits are unified (for once) in concluding that the Democrats will be dead in the water next month in the midterm elections.

OK, let's take that point of view. As Elvis Presley might have said, 50 million pundits can't be wrong.

Can the Democrats regroup in time for 2012?

Is President Obama going to turn out to be a savior or a culprit in these dealings?

The Democrats, of course, can regroup, as can our beleaguered POTUS. It is a matter of presentation and tone, by now, as much as it is a thread of political issues.

Afghanistan, jobs, immigration, healthcare, national security — we know these issues by heart. We know Obama has struggled mightily with the way he conducts his image.

Inexplicably, to the people who voted for him (me, for instance), he has emerged two years later as an indecisive, cliche-spouting leader. I want the old Obama to come back and act as an inspirational leader.

The Democratic Party needs that man to come back, too.

The Republicans are fractured, splintered, tottering, with no one able to serve as a linchpin or a catalyst. The Republicans are a mess. The Democrats are also a mess right now.

What President Obama must do is to regain the momentum he had during the 2008 presidential campaign. He must take some chances in his speeches. He has to look like a man who is in control. I suspect that President Obama remains as self-confident as ever.

But he must show it to the country. When he gives the voters something to believe in, they will respond.

Jon Friedman writes the Media Web column for MarketWatch.com. Click here  to read his latest column.

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