The question sure sounds simple enough: “Are you better off than you were four years ago?” When Ronald Reagan asked voters this at an October 1980 debate with Jimmy Carter, it hit them like a ton of bricks.
The answer was, no, the economy was certainly not better, and voters didn’t need to wait around another four years to see if the great Carter experiment was finally going to work.
This time, apparently, the question has taken on new meaning. And no one working for President Obama’s reelection campaign, at least, seems to understand it.
If they do, they clearly haven’t figured out how to answer it. Over the weekend (just before the Democratic National Convention started in Charlotte, mind you), the Obama campaign’s famously fine-tuned message machine spontaneously combusted.
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