Barack Obama burst onto the scene as a unifying figure, someone who was supposed to end divisiveness and transform political dialogue. But these days, the rancor is as high as ever, and an administration known for its new-media savvy is taking it on the chin regularly from the blogosphere and social networking sites, write John F. Harris and Jonathan Martin for Politico. What's more, Obama’s top foes are immune to the normal tools—most of which fall in the "old media" category—at a president’s disposal.
“The true impact of party leadership is declining every day, compared to the power of blogs and talk radio,” said one Democratic pollster. “It was surprising that Obama and company were caught unaware by this.” While top Obama aides focus on major broadcast new outlets and newspapers, the likes of Glenn Beck and Matt Drudge have attacked with impunity, unconcerned with reasoned debate. Obama can’t attack them without diminishing himself, and raising free speech objections.