Barack Obama and the Triumph of Identity Politics

… Credit where it is due to Team Obama. Recognizing the economic headwinds the president faced, it borrowed a page from Harry Truman’s 1948 campaign, accomplishing two goals simultaneously. …

First, it played to its base with a level of intensity rarely seen in the modern era. “The war on women” was a prime case in point. …

Second, among voters that he could not win – namely, lower-to-middle class, socially conservative whites who have disapproved of the president for four years – Team Obama worked assiduously on turning Mitt Romney into the “other.” …

The problem, of course, is that Obama will likely learn what Harry Truman discovered in 1949: one might be able to win reelection by ruthlessly splitting the country in half, hoping to collect a fraction of the vote more than your opponent, but one cannot govern after having made such a mess. [cont.]

Jay Cost, The Weekly Standard