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Barack Obama was extremely skilled — unparalleled, perhaps — at getting voters to vote for him.

It turns out he utterly lacked the secondary political skills: rallying voters behind his policy plans, persuading lawmakers and helping his party win when he’s not on the ballot.

Obama won in a blowout in 2008. He carried deep red states like Indiana and North Carolina. He even won Omaha, Neb. Obama’s 53 percent in 2008 was the first Democratic majority since Jimmy Carter’s 50.08%.

Obama’s 51 percent in 2012 gives him two of the top three Democratic popular-vote majorities since 1964. He still holds the record for most votes won in the Western Hemisphere. Obama in 2012 also won an electoral-college blowout.

Obama was excellent at getting people to vote for him. He was also good at getting donors to spend money for him. These are very important political skills, but they are not the entirety of politics. In the other aspects of politics, Barack Obama was a loser.

In 2010, Democrats lost a startling 63 House seats and control of the House. They would have lost the Senate if all 100 Senate seats were up. Instead, they lost a net of six Senate seats. This was mostly because of Obamacare.

Obama had coattails in 2012, as he did in 2008. He boosted the turnout of young voters and black voters, and he swung unmarried women over to the Democrats. This down-ticket effect helped his party again. But every time he was off the ballot, he was useless.

Republicans took full control of Congress in 2014, picking up the Senate and expanding their House majority. Once again, they ran against Obama.

This year, Obama tried once again to pass on his magic. The president and his wife Michelle barnstormed the country for Hillary Clinton. In the last week of the election, he unloaded his legendary rhetorical cannons for Clinton in Philadelphia, North Carolina, and Florida. And Hillary Clinton lost all three states.

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Obama said he wanted to be a transformative leader like Ronald Reagan. Reagan won himself a third term, in the person of George H. W. Bush in 1988. Bill Clinton helped reduce the GOP congressional majorities to near-zero in 1998. George W. Bush fought and won his party a Senate majority in 2002.

Obama did none of that.

Democrats had 29 governorships on the day Obama was sworn in. Today there are 18 Democratic governors, and as the sun rose the day after Election Day, that number looked likely to shrink.

When Obama came into office, Democrats controlled legislatures in 27 states. Today, it is 12 states.

This is the Obama effect. He wins elections based on his celebrity and soaring rhetoric. He bungles everything else.

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Legislatively, Obama didn’t show the magic, either. He never rallied the public behind Obamacare — he just rallied Big Pharma, K Street, and the hospital lobby. He tried to rally the public behind his gun-control push. He won over the media, but never the voting public. As a result, he never was able to apply pressure to lawmakers.

Trump, when he was able to focus on anything, focused on Obamacare and an increasingly rigged economy. So while Obama personally rose to record approval ratings, his baggage dragged down his party and its nominee.

Hillary Clinton was a very flawed candidate, and Obama doesn’t bear the blame for any of her flaws. But no one could say he didn’t do his best to boost her. He gave her the secretary of state job. His DNC rigged the primary in her favor. Then he stumped for her.

And he failed again.

Barack Obama will go down in history as a historic barrier-breaker and a phenomenal politician. But he lacked the skill of leadership. And look at where he’s left his party — and his country.

Timothy P. Carney, the Washington Examiner’s senior political columnist, can be contacted at tcarney@washingtonexaminer.com. His column appears Tuesday and Thursday nights on washingtonexaminer.com.

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