I, for one, welcome it.
Washington (CNN) — President Obama’s comments on a plan to build a mosque in the shadow of ground zero are not only giving opponents an opportunity to attack him but also reveal a messaging problem from the White House, a communications expert said.
“The danger here is an incoherent presidency,” said David Morey, vice chairman of the Core Strategy Group, who provided communications advice to Obama’s 2008 campaign. “Simpler is better, and rising above these issues and leading by controlling the dialogue is what the presidency is all about. So I think that’s the job they have to do more effectively as they have in the past [in the campaign].”
Obama has faced a torrent of criticism for what was called mixed messages on the controversial plan. On Friday, Obama said Muslims “have the same right to practice their religion as anyone else in this country … That includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in Lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances.”
The following day, Obama told Ed Henry, CNN’s senior White House correspondent, that he was “not commenting on the wisdom” of the project, just the broader principle that the government should treat “everyone equal, regardless” of religion. Then a White House spokesman clarified those comments.
“There is no question they are having messaging problems at the White House,” Morey said. “They’ve lost control of the dialogue, and they’ve gotten pulled down by the extremes on the left and right. They’ve just not had a coherent set of themes.”
But Obama has the ability to sharpen his messaging skills by being less of a law professor and more of a communicator in chief, Morey said.
“Communicating as a law professor does not work as president. It’s not worked,” he said. “You’re drawing fine distinctions and speaking in long enough paragraphs that they can be misconstrued and taken out of context and frankly, handed to your opposition to exploit. And that’s clearly what’s going on here [with the Islamic center/mosque comments].”
What these Democrat strategists don’t seem to realize is that Obama just does not have it in his DNA to not lecture the American people – no matter the topic. At a time when these people are already in a sour mood, the last thing they need is for the Elitist In Chief to tell them how unenlightened they are for opposing a mosque in such close proximity to the hallowed ground where 3,000 were murdered in the name of Islam.
Remember in November.