The pessimism of the Tories' electoral message, which is basically that the country is in trouble and painful spending cuts are necessary to fix it, is not one to fill voters with wild enthusiasm.
The recent decline in the fortunes of Barack Obama suggests that this might not be such a bad thing, the enthusiasm that Obama generated in some quarters was never likely to be fulfilled by actually governing, so the reality has disappointed many of his supporters.
Keeping expectations realistic is a much more likely route to maintaining public goodwill in the long term.
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