Obama’s “Communication Problem”

This day was certain to come; what’s a bit surprising is how quickly it came. The Obama administration now has a “communication problem.” According to the Hill newspaper:

The other misstep that has bogged down the administration on health care specifically is Obama’s inability to communicate effectively to the American people, [Professor Paul] Light said. While it is shocking to consider that Obama is anything less than one of the best communicators in modern political history, when it comes to health care, he simply has not been able to make the sell to people who do have health insurance. And Wednesday night’s primetime press conference was a “disaster,” Light said. Light said that for the president to regain political momentum, he needs to reclaim his agenda from Congress and start connecting with the public. “He needs to take this over and own it,” Light said.

Light’s comments highlight something I have noticed over the years: analysts are invariably quick to conclude that the reason a particular policy is unpopular is the president’s failure at “selling” his plan — whatever his plan is — to the people. If only the president gave this speech or framed the argument that way, everything would be different. Then he would once again “start reconnecting” with the public.

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Obama’s “Communication Problem”

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