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Obama's town hall malaise

Our Readers Who Comment are busy bashing President Obama's policies and communications skills today after his CNBC town hall meeting on the economy, where some of his supporters expressed disappointment with the president's performance.

A clear majority of comments on Dan Balz's take suggest that the president is not providing answers they understand or want to hear. As Balz writes, "The questions illuminated the deep dissatisfaction the president's allies and opponents feel about his performance. The president's answers raised anew the issue of how effectively he communicates on the economy."

Many readers are not attacking just the president's communications skills, but also what they see as a liberal agenda. A few note that fixing the economy is hard and that there are limits to what any president can do. But the underlying theme is that White House fails to understand or address the concerns.

We'll start with this exchange:

dummypants wrote, "unless obama can lower the unemployment rate a couple points between now and Nov. 2, nothing else really matters."

To which 2012frank responded, "That's true - yet I could imagine his adding that many to government payrolls at taxpayer expense to achieve it. Never underestimate a narcissist who is playing with 'other peoples money'."

mc1231 wrote, "...the president was articulate, empathetic and thoughtful. it saddens me that the negative narrative of a seasoned reporter biases the discussion..."

BBear1 said, "I have a lot of problems with Mr. Obama. But criticizing him for being too smart, too uncommon, to serious, and too fluent is absurd. Look, we had Mr. Stupid Folksy in that office for 8 years,and look what happened..."

AnnieP1 wrote, "In all honesty I don't think he likes this country, and I don't think he gets americans. Until about a week ago, when it hit home that his polls were sinking, I never heard him say a nice thing about this country... He had such a chance to unite, and unfortunately I think he will go down as one of the most divisive presidents on record."

Jabber3 said, " 'Let me be perfectly clear', I don't have the answers and I don't know what to do; however, 'we are moving in the right direction'. You are wrong if you think that I should have been focusing on jobs instad of healthcare, financial reform, and other priorities in the last 18 months. It's Bush's fault if you lost your home can't find a job or pay your bills. Stop blaming me..."

dbw1 wrote, "...Bill Clinton found out between '93-'94 that as much as Americans may like populist themed candidacies, they don't like socialist themed administrations. Clinton corrected course and was able to win again in '96 after learning from the '94 elections. Perhaps Democrats will get lucky and Obama will learn the same."

SavingGrace asked, "Does the White House "get it" any better after yesterday's CNBC session? I'm really not sure. It is disheartening, however, for the President to accuse others of politicizing the debate and throwing rhetorical barbs. He set the standard for that early in his presidency, and simply has not elevated the discourse above the commonplace or worse..."

greenstheman wrote, "as a small business owner my income under the Obama admin. has gone down, i see more small business shutting down. I did not see that before he got in office. He can say that we are headed in the right direction all he wants, It's not"

speedo1 said, "I don't think he cares much for the average American. He can't relate to people that have to work hard in order to move up the economic ladder. He does not even show up to work till 9 am, 2 hour lunch breaks, off by 4. Golfing outings, 6 or 7 vacations a year. That is why is is such a poor President."

lcarter0311 suggested that "Mr. Obama needs to learn how to talk with a "country" twang, or something. He is too proper. Being proper is all and good, but only when you are in a socially setting with other proper people... He looks too serious all of the time, not that the issues he is dealing with are not serious, but he comes across as being to "uppity" for the average person like me..."

Roofelstoon said, "Obama seems INCAPABLE of being pithy in his pronouncements. Rather he loves being the smartest kid in the classroom. Bush certainly wasn't the smartest anything but he could get his ideas out no matter how mangled the syntax. Maybe Obama needs to have a tussle with pretzel."

TwoTermObama wrote, "As I watched the questioners, I found myself overcome with sadness about how my fellow Americans have come to think and feel. I guess we were changed by the lies and easily broken promises of the Bush era, where we were promised riches beyond our dreams, houses we couldn't afford, spending in the name of supporting the troops. Now that reality has set in, we've become a bunch of spoiled babies crying at Obama to fix our suddenly miserable lives. The rich are leading the gullible over a cliff and the MSM is supporting them in their quest to end the middle class. We are truly living in scary times..."

thehamptons1 said, "The problem for Obama is very simple. His admitted agenda is to fundamentally transform America. The majority of Americans are patriots and don't want the country fundamentally transformed. Obama, and the radicals he represents, want to rip this country apart and rebuild it as a socialist communistic nation. He and his cronies have a good start on their mission..."

andrew23boyle wrote, "This is their 50th or 60th "wake-up" call. They should quit hitting the snooze button and address peoples' concerns."

We'll close with bob29, who said, "Few Americans know how little influence the president has over the economy. The policy options avialable to any president can have only a marginal effect on the day to day economy. Any meaningful changes to say tax policy must be passed by congress; the money supply is controlled by the fed.. The real problem to me is a lack of understanding by most americans as to how things really work."

All comments on this article are here.

By Doug Feaver  | September 22, 2010; 8:28 AM ET
Tags:  Communication, Economy, Obama  
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Next: Ridicule, praise for the 'Pledge to America"

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