An interesting New York Times analysis on how Obama is losing his way (and the faith of Americans) because of his muddled narrative. Maybe he needs that one logline that’ll simplify everything for us? (I think “Yes We Can” has been crossed off the list).
“You’ve got to have a clear, easy to understand story,” said Mark McKinnon, an image-maker for George W. Bush’s two presidential campaigns but a professed admirer of Mr. Obama. “Obama’s story is getting very complicated and confusing for voters. Obama is trying to do it all and appease too many constituencies. Voters like him and think he’s smart. But they’re not exactly clear whose side he’s fighting on.”
Mr. Obama rode into office on one of the most elegant narratives in recent campaign history: that he was the embodiment of hope and change. It caught the national mood, yet remained vague enough to mean pretty much whatever a voter wanted it to mean.
Also check out my chat on Seattle NPR station KUOW “Obama: President 2.0.” [“Can YouTube and Twitter really make government stronger, or is it just a way to make the masses feel like they have a voice?”]
But there was always a dialectical quality to the combination of hope (rather than remaining polarized, we could pursue what is right as Americans) and change (we should reverse pretty much everything done by Mr. Bush). This tension made the narrative difficult to sustain when Mr. Obama moved from campaigning to governing.