THE BLOG

Let's Pile on the President

09/09/2010 11:14 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Amidst the lassitude rife in the Democratic Party leading into the fall election season, President Obama stands firmly in defense of his administration thus far. However, one can not help but infer that Obama stands alone. Well, perhaps we should preface Obama's solo spout by considering the fact that Obama's job approval is below 50 percent, a large swath of Americans do not approve of the business being conducted by the democratically controlled Congress and let's just throw in 1 in 4 Americans consider Obama to be a Muslim. Let's not forget Obama injecting the Cardoba House in New York into the national press. Moreover, according to strategists up to 70 Congressional seats are up for grabs in November. Coupled with the latter and former it is no surprise that Democrats are running for the hills.

After breezing through campaign manager David Plouffe's Audacity to Win one only grows incredulous to the political state of Obama's administration. The one preeminent notion that resonates is that the Obama campaign that roared for two years prided itself in controlling the political message of the day and clearing up untruths. Remember back when the campaign went as far as creating an entire website to dispel rumors? Well now Obama is in office and though he has a cavalcade of legislative accomplishments to boot, he has managed to lose the political message on a consistent basis. Obama's current lagging poll numbers are sometimes linked with that of President Ronald Reagan's in 1982. However, Reagan was a movie star who knew how to have the media swooning over his words long after the election. Obama however, seems to be losing his grip on the media. Along the way young people are largely growing ambivalent towards the president. Much angst can be a product of the lack of fervor evinced from Democratic leaders as opposed to the Republicans.

It is rare that you turn on the television and not recognize that Republican pundits seemingly outnumber Democrats two to one. Perhaps it is a ploy by the so called liberal media to foster their agenda? Speaking to one of my colleagues recently he expressed dissatisfaction with business in Washington. I directed him to Obama's successes and failures courtesy of the St. Petersburg Times but alas he was not convinced. Perhaps it is an optics issue? Obama's team simply needs a shake up like pundits from both sides of the aisle have implored, right? My buddy's response was as sporadic and non linear as some have perceived the White House's message to be. He rattled off critical questions such as why the Democratic National Committee chair Tim Kaine is not in the media defending Obama or deploying minions to do likewise, or why Obama waited until now to unveil a program for revamping our infrastructure? Next he jumped to the lack of public option, concessions to the Right, ignoring the Left; mere typical rants of the professional Left as some might paint it.

The more one listens to criticisms of this president, the less responsive one becomes. One can suppose if Obama were a Republican his supporters would be more understanding. Or perhaps it is a situation in which the candidate for "change" refuses to change his style? For Democrats Obama is like a straight A student who everyone in the classroom used to admire and have quickly grown annoyed with. For Republicans, Obama is the straight A student everyone always abhorred. Now that election season nears both sides have surreptitiously agreed to pile on the star pupil. But this really is not about Obama's immediate future. More or less he will get past November with minimal flesh wounds, much like Reagan in 1982. However, if Democrats lose the House, Republicans can stall all major initiatives until the 2012 election season kicks into high gear. Obama is hard at work everyday so one can deduce folks are vexed more or less over his style. From what we've seen over the last several months, unless Obama revises his optics and public perceptions both sides of the aisle will continue to pile on the criticisms, piling on Obama all the way back to Chicago.