A Positive Message Out Of Obama's Reach?
He and his team were soundly defeated in the messaging wars with conservatives when it came to his two signature pieces of legislation, the economic stimulus bill and the health care overhaul. In key battles, liberals faulted him as being too timid, moderates and independents as exceeding the mandate voters had given him. New slogans came and went with the seasons.
The president even lost the ability at times to define himself on his terms, leaving him fending off accusations that he was foreign born, a socialist, a Muslim and an apologist for the United States. By turns pragmatic and ideological, he struggled to find a clear, coherent narrative to explain to the American people what he stood for and where he was leading them.
All of which makes his effort to articulate a reason why voters should give him another four years — other than the fact he is not Mr. Romney — even more vital to his prospects. And in a series of speeches beginning late last year and getting more attention in recent weeks, he has tested the following strategies and themes he is now carrying into the general election.