Obama Losing Media Battle Over Stimulus

White House struggles with new restrictions in getting out its message
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 5, 2009 11:00 AM CST
Barack Obama is being drowned out ... in part by himself.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Barack Obama finds himself in an unfamiliar position: He’s losing a message war, Jeanne Cummings writes in Politico. Obama’s tightly controlled, tech-savvy campaign operation is still adapting to the White House’s more ponderous tool set. Republicans, meanwhile, “could practically sleep-walk through their attack plan” on the stimulus package, which required just two steps: “Scream pork, call Rush Limbaugh.”

Independent liberal groups have tried to help with ad buys, but that’s led to some off-message moments. Obama let the House draft the stimulus out of deference, and it loaded the bill with fodder for GOP critics. Finally, Obama “hasn’t mastered the less-is-more formula” for presidential appearances. Obama must restrain himself, giving cable news time to chew each event.