The Page One story this morning in the Las Vegas Review-Journal by The Associate Press tries to explain how President Barack Obama plans to knock down the perception that, as Mitt Romney says, the president considers the United States just another country in the world.
The president has only himself to blame for this perception.
As the story cites, chapter and verse, consider these statements and actions:
-- In San Francisco the president said: "We used to have the best stuff. Anybody been to Beijing airport lately? ... We've lost our ambition, our imagination, and our willingness to do the things that built the Golden Gate Bridge and Hoover Dam."
-- In Honolulu the president said when asked about impediments to investment in the U.S.: "We've been a little bit lazy, I think, over the last couple of decades."
I suspect that this genre of challenge to President Obama will become central to the narrative for Republicans. And I think it should. Over the first term, President Obama has done this to himself. He shouldn't blame the news media or even political opponents. Instead, he should prepare to account for them.