If we had an honest, skeptical media, Obama would never have won that election, or at least he wouldn't have won by 7-points.
I will admit that Obama (Axelrod) did run an almost flawless campaign, and McCain ran a perfectly dreadful campaign But, McCain also faced a deluge of criticism everyday in the media. Obama didn't. He never demonstrated any real political skill, primarily because he didn't have to. He was, quite simply, our first affirmative action candidate that also enjoyed the "Not George Bush" trump card.
In 1972, unemployment was higher by two full points than where it was when Nixon assumed office, and we had just gone through four BRUTAL years of war - a war that Nixon had won largely on a platform of his "secret plan" to get out of Vietnam. Not only did we not get out, we doubled down. And yet, Nixon was such a brilliant politician, that against the backdrop of rising unemployment and a ridiculously unpopular war, he CRUSHES McGovern. That's political skill.
Obama, MUCH like another horrifically bad politician - Jimmy Carter - was elected primarily because he was from a party that wasn't the unpopular party. Carter didn't represent Nixon's Republican party, and Obama didn't represent Bush's Republican party. That was all the "political" skill either one needed to win.
Sometimes people get elected in spite of their political skill, or lack thereof. I think Obama is one such person.
We've never had that. See my comment above.