Prior to calls for civility and what turned out to be a disastrous "date night" for the Democrats, Barack Obama was nicely set up to catapult himself into a fabulous 2011 approaching next year's reelection campaign with an enviable head of steam.
Having been all but considered dead - am I allowed to say that post-Tucson? - after his shellacking at the polls in November, the President eked out win after win in the lame duck session, and did a very admirable job with his memorial speech.
Even conservatives like syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer were singing his praises.
The nation was also getting a proverbial thrill back up its collective leg according to polls making the coincidence of all these stars aligning so perfectly right before the State of the Union address almost Capraesque.
Mix in some better-than-expected economic numbers, a continued rally in the stock market along with some increased optimism by business leaders, and the President had the ball teed up nicely for a long drive down the middle of the eighteenth fairway with a two-struck lead through 71 holes.
To the shocked groans from the crowd, Obama proceeded to slice into the water on the right ending his dream of winning the event in regulation.
How could this have possibly happened?
The President, the Democrats, and the media over-clubbed: they played their post-Tucson civility hand too far with their call for members of Congress to pair up with the opposite team rather than sit on separate sides of the aisle.
All of this sappy togetherness translated into a dead House totally taking Obama off his game.
The man needs hoots and hollers from the crowd to feed his intensity as well as his ego, like what happened in that arena in Tucson two weeks ago
Instead he played in front of couples acting respectfully as if attending the ballet.
This was an environment all wrong for such an attention-seeking ham.
The cheers, shouts, boos, and even "You lies" from last year better fuel his fire. Without them, he looked quite the empty suit Tuesday night.
Ditto the actual text of his address which had all the excitement of a scoreless soccer match with no shots on goal. So dull was the supposedly master orator that even devout fans like NBC's Andrea Mitchell and MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell were un-enthralled.
When a liberal President can't please them, you know he bombed.
It's too early to tell how the public saw it, but it seems quite possible Obama, the Democrats, and the media may have just spent all the political capital they had attained the last two months conceivably ceding momentum back to the Republicans.
That's quite a feat when you consider it took them four years to accomplish this after taking by Congress in 2006.
I guess they're getting better at fumbling the ball on the opposing team's one yard line.