Candor is not something for which politicians -- especially politicians who are seeking re-election -- are often known.
So it was stunning when President Barack Obama made two candid admissions during a recent interview with ABC News.
The reporter said: "There are so many people who simply don't think they're better off than they were four years ago. How do you convince them that they are?"
The president replied, "Well, I don't think they're better off than they were four years ago."
Of course, since he has been in office for most of that time period, it should be apparent that he and his policies bear at least part of the responsibility for the fact that the American people are not "better off than they were four years ago."
But the president went even further -- stating that the United States isn't just enduring tough times on his watch but is actually in a recession!
The American people, he said, are not "better off than they were before Lehman [Brothers financial services firm] collapsed, before the financial crisis, before this extraordinary recession that we're going through."
Did you catch that? The president referred, in the present tense, to "this extraordinary recession that we're going through."
That contradicts his administration's repeated assurances that his big-spending policies are boosting the economy.
And sure enough, perhaps realizing that he had said too much, the president quickly told ABC that "I think that what we've seen is that we've been able to make steady progress to stabilize the economy ... ."
Do you feel that the current economy is "stabilized"? We have high unemployment and millions of home foreclosures -- plus huge numbers of Americans are having to rely on food stamps.
Or do you believe, as the president acknowledged, that we are not better off than we were before he took office?
Is it any wonder that a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll found that a majority of Americans now believe Obama will be a one-term president, while only slightly more than a third believe he will be re-elected?
The president said he is counting on the American people seeing that he has a "vision for the future that can actually help ordinary families recapture that American Dream."
But before considering his "vision for the future," it would be wise to consider his "past performance" -- and decide whether we can afford four more years of the same.