October 7th, 2011
12:55 PM ET
America loves an underdog. And it looks like the Obama campaign does as well.
In the last week, both the president and vice president have specifically painted themselves with that brush, mindful that a come-from-behind narrative often gins up more donor enthusiasm and television airtime than a campaign that appears to be in cruise control.
The initial comments came Monday from President Obama, when during an ABC/Yahoo News interview the president immediately embraced the suggestion he has a steep hill to climb toward reelection.
“Absolutely…I’m used to being an underdog,” Obama said so definitively that interviewer George Stephanopoulos noted, “You embraced that pretty quickly.”
“Because– you know, given the economy, there's no doubt that, you know, whatever happens on your watch,” the president continued.
Three days later, the vice president chimed in, saying, the GOP is “strong enough to beat both of us."
"Look, no matter what the circumstance, at the end of the day, the American people right now are in real trouble," Biden also said, speaking at the Atlantic Ideas Forum Thursday in Washington. "That is never a good place to be going into re-election, whether it's your fault or not your fault. It's almost sometimes irrelevant."
Obama and Biden might not be off the mark: To be sure, the unemployment figure remains at 9.1 percent and the president’s approval rating is stuck in the low 40’s.
But it’s no surprise the Obama campaign wants to own the underdog mantle, just as it did during the 2007 primaries when it faced what looked like an unbeatable Hillary Clinton. No longer able to run as the outsider or an agent of change, at least the president can latch on to a modern day David and Goliath story as he seeks to get his supporters as enthusiastic as they were in 2008.