AS America prepares to kick its president in the rear end on Election Day - bookies put the odds of a Republican takeover of the House at 78 percent - the secretary of state is missing in action.
Hillary Clinton is probably unable to wipe that big fat smile off her face. As a mad preacher famously said right after 9/11, the chickens are coming home to roost.
No doubt she would like to see a Democratic majority in the House . . . well, not really. I suspect that Clinton would love to see Nancy Pelosi lose her perch as speaker of the House, two heartbeats from that presidency that Clinton may never get.
No kitchen ever built was big enough for two women, and did not Harry Truman describe politics as a kitchen?
Here is why Clinton may smile.
Barack Obama was elected by a smaller margin than Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush or her husband.
Obama treated his election as if it were a landslide.
He took the olive branch and whacked Republicans on their heads with it. The feeling was mutual. After tying that one hand behind his back, President Obama tried to govern.
A new president gets one gimme from Congress. His was the $787 billion stimulus. Sure, all but a few Republicans voted against it, but this was his gimme.
The stimulus failed. Unemployment rose from 7.6 percent to 10.3 percent and is now stuck at 9.6 percent - numbers unseen in a quarter century.
Obama can blame George W. Bush until the cows come home, but the public's perception is otherwise, and in politics, perception is nine-tenths of the law.
The president then pursued Obamacare, just as Bill Clinton had pursued Hillarycare.
When the Congressional Budget Office pegged the cost at a trillion dollars in June 2009, a reasonable man would have stopped and reworked the plan.
But like the captain in the song, "Waist Deep in the Big Muddy," Obama pushed on.
When his press conference in July 2009 so bored reporters that the big news was that the Cambridge police "acted stupidly," a wise man would have perhaps moved on to cap-and-trade or some other proposal.
When congressional town-hall meetings in August 2009 erupted into real town-hall meetings where people asked tough questions of their public servants, a savvy man would have backed down.
But the big event came on Jan. 19, 2010, when Massachusetts voters considered the revered Ted Kennedy's lifelong support of federalizing health care - and elected Republican Scott Brown to finish the term.