March 19, 2009: Obama struggles as communicator (Politico)

  • The aide said that the White House is not as focused on “the immediate sound bite about AIG” as it is on “the fact that everything we do demonstrates … that he’s on the side of the American people [and] that he’s fighting for them.
  • “They believe it wholeheartedly — poll numbers show that,” the aide said, accurately describing the data. “We’re going to make it clear how angry he is about AIG. But he doesn’t need to devolve into showmanship to make a point. His entire presidency is about being on the side of the American people.”
  • But James Carville, the Democratic adviser, said the American people “aren’t close to getting their pound of flesh out of Wall Street” and so Obama needs to “give a sense that there’s much more accountability coming than we see.” Carville said Obama has done a pretty good job of communicating as president, although he said his staff could have “more consistency.”