Are Democrats Just Repeating Obama’s First Year?


When they took office, tough times were ahead, but so was a second term.
Photo: Michael Reynolds/EPA/Shutterstock

There was a moment not very long ago when Democrats spent January not only feeling their oats but believing they had turned a corner in the direction of a sustainable and perhaps even transformative majority — but the year ended in doldrums, with the party’s situation rapidly growing worse. The year was 2009, though the description certainly applies to 2021 as well. During Barack Obama’s first year in office, his party experienced a fall from grace that felt a lot like the year that just ended (minus the pandemic and the persistent presence of former president Donald Trump, of course).

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