But Obama is not responsible for the mess that this country is in: Republicans are. Obama has, however, accepted responsibility for cleaning it up, and I think that should be his message: "We have taken responsibility." We (Democrats) have taken responsibility for winding down the war in Iraq. We have taken responsibility for winning the war in Afghanistan. We have taken responsibility for stabilizing the financial system. We have taken responsibility for reforming the health care system. We have taken responsibility for taking care of our fellow citizens in this time of tremendous hardship.
Republicans, on the other hand, have done nothing of the kind. They have refused to take any kind of responsibility whatsoever for their failures. They have refused to take any kind of responsibility for the failures of oversight which led to a catastrophic financial system failure. They have refused to take any kind of responsibility for violating basic tenets of the rule of law. They have refused to take any kind of responsibility for blowing up the deficit. They have refused to take any kind of responsibility for exacerbating massive inequality.
But Democrats have taken responsibility for cleaning up the Republicans' mess because Democrats have the guts to do so, while Republicans don't. Not all Republicans: there are many Republicans who are very capable of taking responsibility for cleaning up their own and other people's messes, like my Dad. I always add a caveat about my Dad when slamming Republicans, because Dad is a very enlightened Republican (and he's cleaned up a few of my messes over the years). He's enlightened enough to have voted for Obama.
But many Republicans, like Dick Cheney, are just wimps. They talk tough, but they don't have the guts to make tough decisions. Obama, of course, does have the guts to make tough decisions. Decisions like taking responsibility for other people's mistakes.