As the full desultoriness of his Denver performance sank in, the president was consumed by a sense of responsibility—and shadowed by fears that his reelection was at risk. Outwardly, he took pains to project the opposite. When his staffers asked how he was doing, he replied, “I’m great.” To Plouffe, who had volunteered to soothe Sullivan, Obama joked, Someone’s gotta talk him off the ledge!
How many times has Plouffe tried to talk me off the ledge? I think twice. But they were texting me that night to tell me to calm the fuck down. For the record, here’s my actual meltdown as it happened. I still don’t think was wrong about his performance that night, as H&H acknowledge. I was wrong about Obama’s ability to bounce back. That’s worth remembering amid his current travails.