MARK HALPERIN GIVES THE GAME AWAY. It’s all about distracting people from Obama’s lousy record.

UPDATE: David Axelrod gave things away, too.

If the election in November is a referendum on “an economy that continues down the road we are on,” with 66 percent of the American people telling pollsters they think the country is on the wrong track, Obama will lose. This isn’t a line of argument Obama and his people want to pursue. So why did Axelrod say it?

I’d guess it was a moment of weakness. As Shakespeare’s Henry IV said, “The wish is father to the thought.”

Axelrod’s mind-boggling description of the current reality — in which, he said, “A fewer and fewer number of people do very well, and everybody else is running faster and faster just to keep pace” — suggests he desperately wishes he and Obama were back in 2008.

That was the year of “Yes, we can,” and “We are the change we have been looking for,” not a year in which he’ll have to ask for a second term after nearly four years of his own national stewardship.

Axelrod knows how to run Obama as the candidate of change. His words suggest he doesn’t know how to run Obama as the candidate of the status quo.

Well, it’s not exactly morning in America these days.