Convincing people their suffering is unusual
To secure his re-election, President Obama must somehow convince the public that the economic condition of the nation at large is healthier than the situation for its individual citizens.
For years, the opposite contrast applied: most people liked their own circumstances better than the state of the nation. Americans rated their own neighborhoods as safe, their childrenâ€™s schools as solid, their doctors as excellent, their family life as strong and their Congressmen as worthy of reelection even while they disapproved of the general situation with crime, education, medical care, the family and Congress as a whole. With only 30 percent telling pollsters theyâ€™re better off personally than four years ago, the Democrats must now convince people that theyâ€™re unusually unfortunate, not specially blessed, and worse off than the society â€“ thereby challenging Americansâ€™ instinctive optimism and gratitude about their own lives.