Obama's Problem: He's Too Reaganesque

Reporter Patrick Healy is following Barack Obama, who isambitiously campaigning in Indiana, and filed "Obama Wraps His Hopes Inside Economic Anxiety" for Thursday. Healy noted that an Obama's economic talk in Indianapolis started out with doom and gloom, but then abruptly turned more optimistic, giving Healy an opening to smack Ronald Reagan's policies:

"Back in 1980, Ronald Reagan asked the electorate if you were better off than you were four years ago," Mr. Obama told a grandstand full of voters in the swing state of Indiana. "At the pace things are going, you're going to have to ask if you were better off than you were four weeks ago."

Then, suddenly, a cardinal rule of politics seemed to kick in: People vote for optimists, not pessimists, even if that means obscuring hard truths in the short term.

And so Mr. Obama veered rather sharply into his version of Reaganesque confidence, taking a page from a leader who talked a great deal about sunny days but very little about the budget deficits and debt that flowed from his policies.