At least Jimmy Carter was "smart" enough to fool the voters with his toothy grin and pleasant countenance during most of the long 1976 campaign season. Obama, and for that matter his wife Michelle ("for the first time in my adult life, I'm proud to be an American"), have clearly not done so. They have turned "America has problems, and we can fix them," which is of course a common theme and perfectly defensible, into "America as a nation has declined," which is much harder to defend, and certainly harder for a fundamentally optimistic nation to swallow, especially when that message is delivered to a 7 year-old girl.
This explains why Old Media is giving Obama's statement the near-silent treatment.
Apparently, and I missed it too, Obama had commented to a seven-year-old girl that America is no longer the country it once was. This guy above took offense to that.
Sullivan's great retort:
To vote for the party that gave us the past eight years is not optimism. It's clinical denial.