Barack Obama finally admitted what the American people have been telling him via the ballot box for his entire presidency: He’s a total failure as a leader:
President Obama on Friday conceded that he failed as leader of the Democratic Party to transfer his success down-ticket.
Obama was the first Democrat to win more than 50 percent of the vote in consecutive presidential elections since President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. But other than the coattails that lifted down-ballot Democrats in his first campaign, in 2008, the president’s party generally suffered under his leadership, and sits at a historic low point as readies to exit the White House.
“It’s been something that I’ve been able to do, successfully, in my own campaigns,” Obama said during his final year-end news conference. “It is not something I’ve been able to transfer to candidates in midterms and sort of build a sustaining organization around. That’s something that I would have liked to have done more of, but it’s kind of hard to do when you’re dealing a whole bunch of issues here in the White House.”
The House and Senate majorities that existed on his way into the Oval Office are gone, and so are more than a dozen governor’s mansions and more than 900 seats in state legislatures across the country. Obama said Democrats have to do a better job of showing up in local communities, no matter how Republican they are in their voting patterns, and make the argument for the values the party stands for.
The rest of Obama’s speech can be summed up by our friend Tim Young:
Summary of Obama’s final press conference in two bullet points:
1 – Obama says he’s great
2 – Anything that went wrong wasn’t Obama’s fault
— Tim Young (@TimRunsHisMouth) December 16, 2016