A tightened grip may not regain control

More centralization from the Obama camp:
Mr. Obama has asked his former campaign manager, David Plouffe, to oversee House, Senate and governor’s races to stave off a hemorrhage of seats in the fall. The president ordered a review of the Democratic political operation — from the White House to party committees — after last week’s Republican victory in the Massachusetts Senate race, aides said.
Obama -- and Plouffe (remember him?) -- was a great campaigner. These two men clearly know how to run well-oiled machines, and their experience should parlay into better campaigns for the Dems in the next cycle. Maybe.

The trouble is, Obama rode a groundswell of popular discontent -- and that is the exact same groundswell that carried the Republicans to power just now. As Brad pointed out, the activists in the health care debate are the anti- camp, no the pro. The Tea Partiers have the momentum, and the motivation; the other side is, if not in disarray, strangely paralyzed at least.

The '08 election would probably have gone Obama's way in the end anyway, but there can be no doubt that his ability to pin the problems he faced on the Bush administration, rightly or wrongly (and there was plenty of both), was what beat McCain. The Democrats have used up the "blame Bush" card, and are going to have to win this one on the merits of their arguments. That's a much different wave to ride, and one that isn't drawing much water at all right now.