In recent weeks, the general consensus among the political cognoscenti on the left and right alike has been that the president has “checked out.”
As liberal MSNBC commentator Donny Deutsch noted last month, after his colleague Mika Brzezinski interviewed Obama on the subject of Iraq; “He feels like he almost wants to go home at this point.”
It’s a narrative that is not only building momentum among the punditry class – it’s threatening to take hold among the general populous.
White House allies are now in the unfortunate position of having to swat down suggestions that Obama is disconnected, checked out, out of touch or taking an early retirement. The word being used to discredit the criticism should be a familiar one by now: “myth.”
The Hill reported:
White House allies maintain that the storyline of a checked-out president is a myth drummed up by the media during the summer doldrums.
One former senior administration official (Jay Carney perhaps?) was even more blunt. “It’s bullshit,” he said.
“This is a guy who reads 10 letters a day simply to keep in touch with the American people. He spends all his time thinking about the economy and improving lives of the American people. He’s constantly in touch,” the former official said.
See, the narrative the White House carefully crafted at the beginning of the summer, was supposed to be that the president was uber-engaged. He was reading letters from the common folks and meeting with them at burger and BBQ joints all across America to trade ideas on how to move the nation forward. The bear was loose!!! (This was meant to appeal to lofos) But he was also engaged, and oh so caring about improving the lives of the “the folks.” (That was meant to appeal to the middle class.)
Somehow, amid unrest in the nation, the crisis on our Southern border, and multiple international catastrophes, his self-serving photo-ops with the folks back-fired.
Some Democrats say the issue goes much farther than Obama’s love of the links, however.They argue Obama isn’t doing enough to get his message out, to help Democrats on the campaign trail or to move his agenda. And they worry the depiction of Obama as checked out is one the White House needs to do a stronger job of battling.
Do they really think Obama needs to attend more fundraisers? Good lord. Has it occurred to them that maybe his (and their) agenda is toxic to voters?
As always, the saving grace – the only remedy that can save Democrats – is better messaging. “How can we better fool the American people?”
Even the former official who said talk of Obama as tuned out is a bunch of BS acknowledged there are some things the White House can improve upon in terms of its messaging.
“I think they could probably do a better job telling a broader narrative and the telling of a story,” the former official said. “This is a data-driven White House. The president’s campaigns were data-driven. They need to put more poetry into the prose.”
And there you have it – another empty but “soaring” speech from Obama. That’s the prescription for Democrat election year woes.