President Obama's scheduled news conference Friday afternoon is designed to complete a month of campaigning in which he showed an impressive ability to use the bully pulpit in both traditional and innovative ways. The question is whether he is getting so over-exposed that Americans will tune him out.
Obama has been spreading his message with different approaches, but the message has remained the same. Obama is arguing that, from the economy to health care, immigration and national security, he is offering practical, common-sense solutions while his Republican opponents in Congress are countering with rigid ideological proposals that are out of synch with the values and needs of most Americans.
Obama has been very aggressive in making his case. He did so in a half-hour interview this week with Jay Leno on the Tonight Show; in a forum on the Zillow.com online real estate site and earlier on Amazon's Kindle Singles web site that is geared to young people. He also used traditional settings such as an interview with the New York Times and speeches in a variety of venues such as Camp Pendleton, Calif., and several business locations.
Friday's Q-and-A with the White House press corps is another traditional venue and is likely to get him lots of attention from the mainstream media because his full-fledged solo news conferences are relatively infrequent so their importance tends to be magnified.
In the process, Obama has shown himself to be adept at communicating in a variety of ways, says political scientist Ross Baker of Rutgers.
But the latest Fox News poll finds that 71 percent of voters say Obama isn't offering new ideas to strengthen the economy. And 63 percent would prefer that he "lock himself in a room with Republicans" to hammer out solutions rather than traveling around the country making speeches and pushing the same familiar arguments. The Fox News poll also finds that 52 percent of voters disapprove of Obama's job performance and only 42 percent approve, down from 46 percent approval in July.
Obama and his family are scheduled to start an eight-day vacation at Martha's Vineyard, Mass., on Saturday.
Ken Walsh covers the White House and politics for U.S. News. He writes the daily blog "Ken Walsh's Washington" for usnews.com and is the author of "The Presidency" column in the U.S. News Weekly. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Facebook and Twitter.