Picture of the Day: Why Republicans Need the Primary to End, in One Image

With enemies like these, why does President Obama need friends?

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You won't find better shorthand for Obama is gaining on Mitt Romney, as well as his rivals, than this simple graphic. On issue after issue, the Republican candidates have painted themselves and one another into corners, alientating key demographics. Monday, for example, Fox New Latino released a poll showing the president has a six-to-one edge on all of the GOP contenders. That comes after a week of fights over contraception and abortion that led The Washington Post's Dana Milbank to wonder whether the party remembered that women are eligible to vote. It also shows how a party functionally obsessed with Ronald Reagan has been unable to capture any of the sunny disposition that endeared the Gipper to voters; meanwhile, Obama is hitting the road with the slogan "America is back," borrowed directly from Reagan.

But the fact is Obama does have friends. This graphic was made not by the Obama campaign, not by the DNC, nor even by Shepard Fairey, but by a random artist in Los Angeles named Will Amato who posted it to Facebook. Obama has sometimes struggled to explain why he should be reelected. Much of the best legwork on his behalf is being done either by people like Andrew Sullivan, whose Newsweek cover story was described as a far better articulation of his case than any Obama had made, or like Will Amato. (In fairness, there was the excellent quip -- by Joe Biden, of all people -- that Obama's term could be summed up as "Osama bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive.") The president is lucky to have such obliging opponents and such willing volunteers.

Image: Will Amato / Facebook

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David A. Graham is a senior associate editor at The Atlantic, where he oversees the Politics Channel. He previously reported for Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, and The National.

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