President Obama told a small crowd in Fairfax, Va., on Monday that he would stand in the hot sun with them and “feel their pain.”
He was meeting with a Fairfax family for a backyard discussion on the economy in an effort to improve voter perceptions about his empathy with ordinary people.
Unlike former President Clinton, who famously felt the pain of voters during a recession, Obama has not connected emotionally with voters over their worries and fears.
Voters two years ago appreciated Obama’s cool, professorial demeanor; it earned him praise, as in “No drama Obama,” and drew favorable contrasts with both President George W. Bush and the Republican presidential nominee, Sen. John McCain (Ariz.).
But it is widely perceived as less appealing now, as the administration has struggled to revive the economy and convey an impression of strong management.