Change is Barack Obama’s political calling card and the fuel that propelled his never-waste-a-crisis agenda — but change is boomeranging big time on the president in a turbulent and unpredictable 2010.
For the first time since he emerged as a national political figure six years ago, Obama finds himself on the wrong side of the change equation — the status quo side — with challengers in both parties running against him, his policies or his handpicked candidates.
Tea party conservative Rand Paul romped in the GOP Kentucky Senate primary by pledging to overturn virtually every major Obama initiative. And both Pennsylvania’s Joe Sestak, who knocked off a Democratic incumbent, and Bill Halter of Arkansas, who forced another one into a runoff, were spurned by Obama despite running on throw-the-bums-out platforms that could have been lifted from the president’s 2008 playbook.
“What I tell to the national Democrats is: ‘Bring it on, and please, please, please bring President Obama to Kentucky.’ We would want him to come and campaign for my opponent [Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway],” Paul told CNN on Wednesday, in a taunt reminiscent of statements by Democrats about President George W. Bush in 2006 and 2008. “In fact, we’ll pay for his plane ticket if President Obama will come to Kentucky.”