The news that Barack Obama is behind Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee in a new national opinion poll and even with Sarah Palin will surely give the White House much food for thought.
How does President Huckabee sound to you? Or President Palin? If the election were held today they seem at least as likely as Obama to win.
It signals a major reversal for the Democratic Party in the midterm election for one reason only -- they are unable to get their message out starting at the top.
In the era of the one-word sound bites, Republicans are outmaneuvering Obama and his fellow Democrats in the all-important message stakes.
The fact is that a Republican president caused the financial collapse, led us to war in Iraq and Afghanistan, and relaxed regulations that allowed the Gulf Oil spill.
Clearly the party has sided with the Wall Street fat cats in the regulation battle, and opposed health care for all. That should make them cannon fodder in any election framed around Wall Street versus Main Street issues.
Despite all this, the party is leading Democrats in the race for the White House and will make major gains in November.
What gives? Sure the electorate is disgruntled and rightly so, but they seem to have trained their sights on the president. His poll numbers among independents are in the tank and therein lies his real problem.
The Republicans communicate their message better. They may be blocking every piece of legislation that Obama is attempting to put through, they may be negative more than positive, but the public perceives them as doing a better job.
Here's my advice to Obama: find your voice. You remind me of the 'Barney' kids series on PBS where each character has an indoor and outdoor voice.
During the election campaign you were using your outdoor voice, inspiring millions. Now you talk as if you are indoors all the time, your voice can barely be heard above the national noise.
Fire Rahm Emanuel: He's the hard-nosed insider who has shut you up and played a cynical game of insider politics that has gotten you nowhere in the national popularity debate.
There is no sense of vision, no sense of leadership just a daily diet of he said/she said on every issue.
The presidency is not about insider politics, its about a bully pulpit,a coherent message and a vision. Articulate that.
Final point and most important: Listen to Bill Clinton. He was the first two-term American Democratic president since Roosevelt for a reason.
He had a direction, a vision, and a purpose to his presidency after a rough start just like you.
It is clear now that a term in executive government, say Governor of Illinois, would really have helped you hone those governing as against campaigning skills.
Go to the man who has had experience in both.
There is a reason Democratic candidates are clamoring for Clinton to campaign this fall rather than you -- he connects on that visceral level.
You need to do that too, and there is no better teacher.
Following Clinton's political example can be the key to a second term.
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