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Throughout the halls of power in Washington, in the bars that cover Capitol Hill like litter and the power lunch spots along K Street, the political elite huddle over cocktails, sparkling water or $40 salads and ask one question:
“What are we going to do about Barack Obama?”
This hand-wringing comes not from Republicans seeking to end Obama’s presidency at one term but from Democrats, pundits, consultants and lobbyists who fret over the President’s lack of focus, his mixed messages and a stuttering campaign that bears little resemblance to the smooth-running machine that carried him into office four years ago.
“The President is in trouble,” one veteran Democratic consultant told Capitol Hill Blue this week. “He’s wounded and most of those wounds were self-inflicted.”
Indeed. The President faces growing criticism within his own ranks and much of it is becoming public. From a bristling “public strategy memo” sent to the President this week from James Carville, Stan Greenberg and Erica Seifert — three well-connected Democratic strategists to open public doubts from former President Bill Clinton and top campaign advisers, the message is simple: Get your act together Mr. President are face defeat in November.
Most feel the President’s economic message is muddled at best and out-of-touch with the millions of unemployed and financially-strapped Americans who don’t feel like his economic plan is working or ever will work.
“If the President goes down in flames he could drag other Democrats into the fire with him,” grumbles another Democratic strategist.