There will be no sunning on Barack Obama Beach, nor will anyone go to class at Barack Obama High. Mr. Obama’s star has so faded that he can’t get recognition even in Hawaii, where he grew up, or in his adopted hometown of Chicago.
An informal survey conducted by a Hawaiian television station asked whether Oahu’s Sandy Beach Park should be renamed for the president, and 9 of 10 surveyed said no. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Mr. Obama’s former right-hand man, put aside a school-renaming proposal after many in the community complained.
After a weeklong fundraising blitz around the country, Mr. Obama didn’t feel the love until his dog, Bo, greeted him on his return to the White House. The list of those not attending his star-studded events was as revealing as the list of those who showed up. Even in the bluest states, Democrats cringe when Air Force One touches down in their town and Mr. Obama steps onto the tarmac.
In Connecticut, where Mr. Obama took 58 percent of the vote just two years ago, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, a Democrat, had to be elsewhere, perhaps on an errand to buy a postage stamp or get a haircut, when Mr. Obama headlined a fundraiser in Greenwich. Mr. Malloy, running for re-election, is locked in a dead heat with the Republican, Tom Foley.
Alison Lundergan Grimes, the Kentucky Democrat trying to knock off Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, says, “Obama who?” The Louisville Courier-Journal asked Ms. Grimes a question so simple a cave man could answer it: “Did you vote for Mr. Obama in 2008 and 2012?” Four times she refused to say. Ms. Grimes’ nondenial denial was understandable. Mr. Obama currently has an average job-approval rating of just 31 percent in Kentucky, according to The Huffington Post.
Jay Carney, who recently traded his job as White House press secretary for that of CNN commentator, concedes his former boss has become toxic. “Democratic candidates have to thread this needle very carefully,” he said. “It is true that when you have an unpopular president of your party, you don’t want to be associated with him … it’s not a good dynamic for Democrats out there.” It’s not a matter of whether Republicans win, it’s how much they will win by, he says.
In a fundraising email last week, Mr. Obama warned that if Republicans win next month’s midterm elections “the interests of billionaires will come before the needs of the middle class” — this after hobnobbing with Democrat billionaires at the fundraiser in Greenwich. His host, Rich Richman, and other guests paid $32,400 to be photographed with the president. Contributors on a budget paid $10,000 just for dinner, minus the Kodak moment.
As the public is squeezed by rising prices, stagnant wages and lackluster economic growth, Democrats can’t be seen sipping bubbly with the man who made it happen. Instead of beaches and schools, perhaps the president will see a few unemployment offices named after him.