Chris Matthews has been using the last few minutes of his program lately to give President Obama campaign advice, and last Friday was no different. He pleaded with Obama to “give us purpose,” if he expects to get re-elected next year.
Matthews: Let me finish tonight with this. A poll published last year asked people to name the president they would most like to see added to the four now on Mount Rushmore. Who do they want up there with Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and most of all, I think, Teddy Roosevelt. Most said John F. Kennedy. President Obama promised us a presidency like Kennedy’s, a transformative one. But to win a second term, the only way he’ll achieve this goal is to paint a picture, I believe, of what he intends to do with that extended lease on his presidency. He needs to give us purpose. We knew what Kennedy wanted to do, where he was going. He showed us his dreams right there in his programs: the push for the Civil Rights bill, the Peace Corps, the space program, nuclear arms control, winning the Cold War without war. What are President Obama’s dreams? If there were no Tea Party, no Eric Cantor, where would he take us? He needs to tell us. The day before he was killed, President Kennedy spoke in San Antonio about how little Irish boys would get themselves to climb over high walls by first throwing their caps over. That would force them to go over the wall to get them back. What is missing in Obama’s presidency is that spirit of adventure, of common purpose, that sense of mission. If the election of 2012 is about the past, who got us into this economic mess, and who to blame, well the verdict will be mixed, of course. If it’s about how bad things are now, the verdict will be simple, negative, and unfortunately for the president, bad. But if it’s about the future, right there is the prospect for President Obama. He needs to be taking us somewhere. What does he want to do with a second term? Tell us. Draw a picture. Mr. President, throw a cap over that wall.
The reason the spirit of adventure and sense of mission are missing from the Obama campaign is that he can’t campaign on hope and change which did have a common purpose and mission but instead of the sunny skies ahead as Obama and the media predicted it has been mostly dark and stormy as unemployment climbed to levels we haven’t seen in a generation.
Matthews is trying to get the tingle back but the continuing failures of the Obama administration have made it difficult for even an ardent fan like himself.