As far as the Scott Walker thing goes...well, it just seems like the biggest bungle in terms of Democratic strategy. I mean... Walker beat this guy initially to win the governorship pretty handily. And then, when he does something controversial enough that there are enough people to trigger a recall, who do the Democrats run? The exact. Same. Person. How was that guy supposed to win? People don't turn out to vote in large numbers because they're AGAINST someone; they vote because they're FOR someone. What the hell kind of strategy was that??
I think a lot of people also just didn't like the recall being used for this as it seems to undermine the democratic system. Recalls are supposed to be for literally violating the law or whatnot, not for passing legislation one doesn't like.
As far as the "public sector is doing fine" thing, here's the FULL quote:
What hurt Obama is he said that "the private sector is doing fine" which I think was an off-handed comment that he didn't really mean, but the Republicans are going to use it against him.