President Obama’s strategy for dealing with fallout from political controversy is growing tired, writes Frank Rich in the New York TImes. First, Obama stays cool as the crazies and 24-hour news networks explode; then, at a “superdramatic moment,” he delivers a speech the media “reliably hypes as The Do-or-Die Speech of His Career.” While this worked on the campaign trail, Rich writes, it won’t fly in the White House.
Sure, Obama’s speech Wednesday was great, “but there was little in the speech that Obama couldn’t have said at the summer’s outset,” Rich notes. “In the meantime, a certain damage has been done—to Obama and to the country” as "crazed town-hall sideshows" took over. Obama’s poll numbers have slid and support for health reform has dropped off. The 24-hour networks and Republican party have dictated the story, and Obama looks weaker for it.