The media chimed in once the topic was known, but the proposed solutions varied widely. While Dan Rather predicted that a challenge would stem from Obama's tax cut extension (watch via Eyeblast), Stanford MLK Scholar Clarence Jones sought the New Gene McCarthy to run against the Terror Wars Against Terror.
Explanations for Obama's shortcomings were also readily available. For example, Frank Rich posited that Stockholm Syndrome was the reason for Obama’s lack of leadership leading to serious midterm defeat. Based on Obama's own expressed homages to Ronald Reagan, Rich might well be on to something.
But exculpatory explanations are worthless when the pressure is on. Dan Rather reported that major Democratic contributors were only going to give Obama a few more months to reverse the common impression that "he won't fight for anything" before they push for a primary challenge. It isn't "What has Obama done lately?"—it's "What has Obama done?". Those few months, depending on which number is cited as to the duration of their patience, are expiring.
That closing time may well be now. Adding to previous efforts to nudge Obama into action issued by Tikkun magazine editor Michael Lerner, Robert Kuttner of The American Prospect, and Adam Green, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, liberal and progressive politicians such as Dennis Kucinich are loosing their salvos at an embattled Oval Office lavishly decorated in a 1938 British empire decor.
In addition, potential rivals—friendly and not so friendly—are consolidating their positions. Ralph Nader won't commit to running again, but expresses a desire to see liberals reject the notion that they have no option but to vote for Obama. I personify the refutation of that mis-impression, and have regularly since 1980.
But don't cry for Obama just yet! He does have his defenders. Rep. Charlie Rangel energetically rejects the primary challenge concept while Democratic Strategist managing editor Ed Kilgore declares that any challenger would have to peel away a large portion of Obama's black support, an effort already underway on the Republican side as any simple Google search will attest through voluminous links regarding new voter registration requirements.