Amid press conferences and big speeches, President Obama spent his first two years in office as “his own messenger.” But expect that to change in the run-up to the next election, writes Michael Scherer in Time. In those first two years, Obama lacked a solid team of spokespeople; aides like Larry Summers and Rahm Emanuel weren’t up to the job. Now, “as the Obama team enters the most trying 14 months of a remarkably trying five-year blitz, they are getting their ducks in a row.”
“With the economy still stuck in neutral, no Democrat sees a path to victory in 2012 that is not negative,” Scherer notes. “The message: You may not be happy, but I am better than than that one, and here is why.” But even as he goes on the attack, Obama hopes to stay “slightly above the fray.” It’ll be up to advisers like David Axelrod and Robert Gibbs to “throw mud”; where Obama “taps,” they must “punch.” Those attacks began on this Sunday’s talk shows, and there will be plenty more to come.