Obama is so desperate to regain his popularity that he’s even emoting — kind of. Sam Youngman reports:
President Obama told a small crowd in Fairfax, Va., on Monday that he would stand in the hot sun with them and “feel their pain.”
He was meeting with a Fairfax family for a backyard discussion on the economy in an effort to improve voter perceptions about his empathy with ordinary people.
Unlike former President Clinton, who famously felt the pain of voters during a recession, Obama has not connected emotionally with voters over their worries and fears.
So on his list of things to do: show some emotional connection to the American people. It’s been a worry for some time among Democrats that his cool demeanor and nasty habit of demeaning Americans makes it, well, hard for voters to think he’s all that interested in their concerns:
Democratic strategists worry the president is seen as too aloof, and that this gets in the way of the administration’s message that the economy is slowly but surely recovering. … Democratic strategists worry this disconnect will lead to losses for Democrats at the polls in November, when the party fears it could lose control of the House and Senate.
“The problem is he doesn’t seem like he’s always trying to be empathetic,” said one Democratic strategist.
So now he’s dialing up the emotions.
Not unlike the “charm offensive” with American Jews, when the president’s policies fall flat he decides to persuade the skeptics that he really, honestly, truly is on their side. Granted, “politicians” and “sincerity” generally don’t belong in the same sentence, but Obama’s play-acting is so transparent and so obviously at odds with his personality and policy choices that it’s hard to believe he’s helping his cause much. It does however remind us that Bill Clinton was, as Holly Golightly’s friend put it, a “real phony.”