Mr. Obama cultivated an image as a unifier able to transcend partisan, ideological and racial divides.
Four years later, he is a divisive incumbent defending a grim status quo of his own. Having lost the broad appeal he enjoyed in 2008, he is making narrow appeals to particular voting blocs with the apparent aim of shoring up support and turnout. . . .
To appeal to single women, he picked a fight with the Catholic Church by refusing a conscience exemption from the ObamaCare birth-control mandate. For Hispanics, there was the promise of lax immigration enforcement against illegal aliens who arrived in the U.S. as children. His "evolution" on same-sex marriage seemed designed to appeal not just to gays but also to young voters, whose attitudes on the subject tend to be liberal.
But these calculated overtures carry risks. In appealing to particular demographics, the president may be alienating other Democratic or swing voters.Read the whole thing.