I didn't pay too much attention to campaign and election related program activities over the past cycle. My take was we took care of that, we put these people in power, so let's see how they govern. I wanted to pay attention to policy for a change.
One can spread blame around a lot, but it has been distressing to watch failures of both policy and politics. The policy failure was about the economy and the foreclosure crisis, and the politics was the failure to recognize how deeply this mattered. No matter what people say in polls, nobody cares about the deficit or "spending," they care about whether they have any money. Foreclosures are devastating individuals and communities, and whatever the merits, speeding up small business investment depreciation just doesn't provide an adequate message. Obama said he wants to turn the economy around to fix the foreclosure crisis, but he has many more tools at his disposal to deal with the foreclosure crisis than he does for the economy generally, absent help from Congress.
I don't know how politicians lacked the self-preservation skills to recognize that if they failed to deliver on the economy they would fail, but that's what happened.