I refer, of course to the media.
Chris Matthews (of the legendary leg thrill):
In the Carter presidency, the optics were not exactly robust, and Ronald Reagan rode that to a big victory in 1980. Is the Obama White House sending some Carteresque signals these days?
Barack Obama, who once had his own electric book tour testing the waters for a campaign, could learn a thing or three from Palin. On Friday, for the first time, his Gallup poll approval rating dropped below 50 percent, and he’s losing the independents who helped get him elected. . .
The animating spirit that electrified his political movement has sputtered out. . .
Obama showed a flair for the theatrical during his campaign, and a talent for narrative in his memoir, but he has yet to translate those skills to governing.
Of course, neither of them actually admits there is anything wrong with the president’s principles. But they do see that he is failing to convey to the people why his disastrous policies aren’t as disastrous as they seem.
Also, Saturday Night Live cuts loose on Obama in a funny skit that is actually only slightly too long.
UPDATE: Glenn Reynolds adds:
I think Obama’s “charisma” was based on voter narcissism — people excited not just about electing a black President, but about themselves, voting for a black President. Now that’s over, and they’re stuck just with him, and emptied of their own narcissism there’s not much there to fill out the suit. As Ann Althouse says, “I think what Obama seems to have become, he always was.”
UPDATE: Also the London Times:
The real problem may be Obama’s friends — or rather, those among his formerly most enthusiastic supporters who are now having second thoughts.
The doubters are suddenly stretching across a broad section of the Democratic party’s natural constituency. They include black congressional leaders upset by the sluggish economy; women and Hispanics appalled by concessions made to Republicans on healthcare; anti-war liberals depressed by the debate over troops for Afghanistan; and growing numbers of blue-collar workers who are continuing to lose their jobs and homes.
Obama’s Asian adventure perceptibly increased the murmurings of dissent when he returned to Washington last week, having failed to wring any public concessions from China on any major issue.
And Germany’s Der Spiegel:
Obama’s Nice Guy Act Gets Him Nowhere on the World Stage
When he entered office, US President Barack Obama promised to inject US foreign policy with a new tone of respect and diplomacy. His recent trip to Asia, however, showed that it’s not working. A shift to Bush-style bluntness may be coming.
ASIDE: If only he conducted all our foreign policy with the “nice guy act” we would be a little better off. The hallmark of the Carter/Obama foreign policy is softness with hostile regimes but toughness with friends. Softness with everyone would be stupid, and so would toughness with everyone, but either would still be better than what we have now.
Even the New York Times can manage only a lukewarm defense:
President Obama has faced a fair amount of criticism for his China trip. He was too deferential; he didn’t speak out enough on human rights; he failed to press Beijing firmly on revaluing its currency; he achieved no concrete results. The trip wasn’t all that we had hoped it would be, but some of the complaints are premature.
(Via Hot Air.)