Friday, September 18, 2009

The Way-Too-Ready-For-Primetime President


He's everywhere.

We've been hearing quite a bit about Obama being "overexposed". In fact, today's New York Times has an article asking "How much Obama is too much Obama?"

Well, thanks to USA Today, now we know.
Obama will have done 124 print, broadcast and radio interviews by day's end on Sunday, according to a tally by Martha Joynt Kumar, a political scientist at Towson University in Maryland. George W. Bush did 40 and Bill Clinton did 46 by the same point in their presidencies.

And has it worked? Well, let's look at the most recent example of massive exposure - the speech to the joint session of Congress last week. Since that speech was given, disapproval of Obama's health care plan has increased to a new high of 56% among likely voters.

I guess you could say it was a "game changer", just not in the way the White House was hoping.

Going back to the NYT article, speaking on the sunday news show blitz being planned by Obama this Sunday:
One senior White House aide, speaking about media strategy only on condition of anonymity, cited a “buzz factor,” saying that by completing a feat unprecedented for a president, Mr. Obama would draw even more attention to his message. “Doing five becomes a story in itself,” the aide said.
This is the problem of the White House in a nutshell. They are so focused on selling the man, that they forget the focus should be selling the policy. While clearly it's easier to sell a policy if the seller is popular, there is demonstratable evidence that shows, in this case, it's not working.

Speaking of the 124 interviews, one has to wonder how well the Obama White House is being managed. Prepping for interviews takes a sizeable amount of time and energy from the staff. When the White House staff has nearly three times the norm of interviews to worry about, there has to be a concern about their priorities.

Take a step back, Mr. President.

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