In the Dateline NBC interview by Lester Holt of outgoing President Barack Obama, Obama accepted some blame for the Democratic Party’s overall state.
He admitted that he was not able to figure out how to spread his brand to the Democratic Party during the midterm elections and that it was “a legitimate criticism.” But, then he went and blamed gerrymandering by Republicans for the midterm election losses in 2010 and 2014:
Obama: “It did speak to a problem that we saw during the course of my presidency which was I had trouble transferring my personal popularity or support to the broader cause of the Democratic Party. And I think that’s a legitimate criticism and I’ve thought about some of the things I could have personally done.”
“Some of what has happened in terms of losses in Congress and gubernatorial and state levels were just a matter of bad luck. [In] 2010, we were going to lose seats because I was the president in charge when people were terrified about what was happening to their economy and rightfully so. But that also ended up being a gerrymandering year, that’s when the census had happened and the lines were drawn, and so we were going to be locked into a republican advantage for a number of years.”
“…Despite my organizing background, despite the grassroots nature of my campaign, it was difficult for me to do the work of managing the economy, dealing with foreign policy and terrorism, and building the grassroots party apparatus which I think ultimately makes democracy work.”