In the above interview, Chris Matthews mourns the lack of a narrative in Obama's bid for a second term:
There is no Peace Corps... There is no Moon program.... What are we trying to do in this administration?... What's he going to do in a second term? More of this? Is this it? Is this as good as it gets?He goes on to whine that Obama doesn't invite him to late night parties and doesn't call members of Congress often enough, and that there's too much e-mail communication or something, and then there's those darned kids running the White House....
Look, Matthews is obviously under no obligation to be one of Obama's foot soldiers, but I find this idea that Obama can't win without a compelling "narrative" really annoying. Obama could promise a mission to Mars or a cure for cancer or a new season of "The Wire," and I doubt it would make a lick of different for his reelection prospects. Those would be fairly vague, if inspirational, promises about the future, when voters tend to be highly attuned to what is going on now and what has happened recently. Specifically, they will retain him in office if they are sufficiently satisfied with improvements in economic conditions, and if they're not, they won't, regardless of what he promises.
As for Matthews' dismissive "more of this" comment, I'd imagine quite a few people would be happy with that, if "this" includes health care reform, preventing a depression, financial reform, student loan reform, killing Osama, toppling Kaddafy, etc. That's a solid record to run on. I'm sorry if Matthews doesn't think it's as exciting as a Moon landing. It's just, you know, governing.