WASHINGTON -- Facing criticism that President Barack Obama isn't connecting with the American people, the administration is infusing its communications strategy with some of the ironclad discipline and outside-the-box thinking that made the Obama presidential campaign so successful.
Sensitive about talk that the president was sometimes overexposed during his first year in office, the White House now is more discriminating about how and when the president deals with media -- and about whom he talks to when he does.
Aides say there's no formal reevaluation of the administration's communications strategy as the president embarks on his second year in office. But with Obama's poll numbers flat-lining, his agenda on the ropes and Democrats increasingly worried about losing ground in November's election when control of Congress will be at stake, the White House is taking an approach to getting out the message about the president's accomplishments and goals that is at once more aggressive and more streamlined.
-- More direct rapid response to criticism. Through blog postings on the White House Web site by a small cast of Obama aides and unsolicited e-mails from press secretary Robert Gibbs blasted to the White House's vast press list, the administration seeks to more quickly and widely counter perceived misinformation. And Gibbs has finally resorted to Twitter.
-- More events at which the president speaks directly to the public without the filter of the media, including town hall meetings around the country or such events as a recent online question-and-answer session streamed on YouTube and a televised live exchange with House Republicans.
-- Carefully choreographed interactions with the press. Unlike news conferences that are unscripted and can cover many topics and put reporters in competition with the president for the spotlight, the Obama team is trying to place a premium on its media interactions.
I see this as nothing more than an arrogant mea culpa, as if he is saying to the public "I'm sorry, I did not explain myself well enough. I didn't realize how stupid you were."
Obama and his staff absolutely refuse to believe that there is a problem with their policies, they simply chalk it all up to a public that is a little slow to understand. Obama is playing the part of the patient fatherly figure and is trying to explain this all a little slower to us. Maybe he can use smaller words, maybe he can use some simple drawings.
Finally, notice the article says he is going to take a more aggressive approach. There are two schools of thought among the Democratic party and it's followers after the recent losses in Virginia, New Jersey, and Massachusetts: one side wants to rethink it's policies and try to work with Republicans, the other side wants to get more aggressive, leave the policies alone, and take the fight to the Republicans. I think one can assume, with this article and recent actions, that the White House has made it's decision.
The only thing that remains to be seen is how this plays out in November. I think we could be looking at a loss of biblical proportions for the Dems.