I remember Dick Morris saying once that once in the office, you campaign by being presidential.
I have to say, one of the things that surprised me about O was that he actually ran for a 2nd term. He obviously doesn’t like the actual work of being president.
Campaigning, unless you are in the profession, is not an end unto itself.
In my view George Bush had a patrician's distain for campaigning, regarding it as a distasteful necessity in order to gain political power with which to serve the nation but campaigning itself was smarmy and something to be undertaken only as necessary. As a result of this rather Olympian detachment from the give-and-take of the democratic process, Bush made a conscious decision, especially after his reelection in 2004, not to contest many of the issues of the day so long as he got his way in Iraq. Karl Rove in an interview stated that the biggest mistake of the Bush presidency was not to fight back on the issue of, "Bush lied and people died."
By the time of the election of 2006 the narrative of Bush incompetence was well planted with the public by a very hostile media and all Obama had to do in 2008 was to blame George Bush for everything except original sin. This narrative prevailed well into the Obama administration.
It seems to me that a president and a presidential candidate has to strike a balance. On the one hand he solicits the support of the party faithful and he says, give me your vote, your time, your shoe leather, and your money and I will sustain your values, I will be your Paladin. On the other hand, as John Kennedy said, "first you gotta get elected." So the candidate must commit himself to serve a role which comes automatically with the office of the presidency, he becomes the titular head of the party. As such, he owes the party a duty of care and nurturing which George Bush neglected. On the other hand, he owes his conscience and the people a duty of truthfulness and righteousness.
George Bush had these higher qualities in abundance even as he lacked a zest for political battle. Brack Obama does not think that truthfulness, righteousness, or honor are qualities that adhere to the office of the presidency because he believes that the office and the system is fundamentally corrupt. He believes that what he does to undermine the system is fundamentally righteous. His ends justify his means.
We are watching the unwinding of the Obama myth and his exposure as a moral poltroon. Still, most of the media covers for him but he is nevertheless naked before the world for those who choose to see. The media rehabilitated Bill Clinton, maybe they can rehabilitate Brack Obama but I think his loss at the polls in November is now inevitable.
As and when Mitt Romney becomes our new president, his first duty is sacred, it is to his constitutional conscience and his second duty is to the political realities which sustain the party which in turn sustains him. He cannot neglect either one without the nation suffering. If there is an apparent conflict between the two it means that he has somehow gone off the right path.