The president is set for a bruising on Tuesday, but he can come back, writes David Brooks in the New York Times. Here’s how: first, “win back independents,” who have swung Republican lately. Second, he must “redefine himself” as “a traditionalist on social matters and a center-left pragmatist on political ones.” Third, he has to recalibrate Americans’ outlook, proving our values are intact by rewarding hard work.
Fourth, he must “mobilize independent institutions,” which aren’t in Washington: “Local business groups and municipal leagues” want a moderate agenda. “The problem is not that America lacks resources. The problem is that they are misallocated,” Brooks writes. Here’s a platform for Obama: Republicans “want to cut things; I want to cut but also replace things. They want to slash government; I want to restructure it. They want destruction; I want renovation.”