In the White Houses right now people should be noodling on this: What does the president say if the loss is big enough to constitute a clear repudiation of his leadership?
On Nov. 5, Mr. Obama will have to say something that shows he gets it. That shows without saying that he’s humbled, that he isn’t living in a bubble.
Here’s the problem. The qualities required of such a statement—humility, self-awareness, sensitivity to the public mood—are sort of the opposite of what the president brings to the table.