Even as the White House reaches out to liberal voters, the president and his team seem to be struggling with some feelings of resentment.
The vice president's remarks in New Hampshire that the Democratic base needs to "stop whining" set off a firestorm across the left side of the Internet. That was followed up with the president's comments to Rolling Stone that liberals "weren't serious" about "change" in 2008 if they aren't fired up to go vote now.
We remember White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs complained a few weeks ago about the "professional left" and the confrontation between Senior White House Adviser David Axelrod and blogger Susan Madrak of the website Crooks and Liars who complained that liberal bloggers were "the girl you'll take under the bleachers but you won't be seen with in the light of day."
If you look at what Vice President Biden had to say, his takeaway was that liberals should be very satisfied with what he has accomplished. And while the White House likes to focus on small details on Obamacare and the Dodd-Frank bank bill, the real sources of discount on the left are the same things that helped fuel his rise - anger over foreign policy and domestic security measures.
Having 100,000 troops in Afghanistan, stepped up missions in Pakistan, Gitmo still open and the administration looking for broad new powers to snoop online are what really get liberals cranked up about Obama.
The problem with spending so much time talking to liberal outlets - MSNBC, Rolling Stone, liberal bloggers, etc. - is that these conflicts quickly come to the surface. Every president struggles with their base, but Obama is having his fight out in the open.
Rather than energizing the left, the White House effort to erect a firewall of left voters to protect incumbent senators from a hoard of angry independent voters is actually tending to pick at the scabs of old wounds.Insulting liberals and then telling them their concerns are not valid seems an unlikely way to recapture the magic of hope and change.
One thing that will help Obama this week on the left will be the expected departure of Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.
Emanuel, a Clinton veteran considered one of the few moderates on the president's team, has been held up for scorn on the Left for opposing a go-for-broke strategy on health care, enthusiasm for an aggressive war strategy and other issues.
The names mentioned for his replacement, including Obama's former Senate chief of staff Pete Rouse, should be much more palatable to liberals.
Real Clear Averages Shift Toward GOP
Two key Senate races are getting redder today at Real Clear Politics.
The Senate race in Connecticut between Democrat Richard Blumenthal and Republican Linda McMahon has slid from "Leans Dem" to "Toss Up." Blumenthal's advantage in the RCP average is down from 4 points.
In Florida, a string of big margins in polls has put the race into the "Likely GOP" category instead of "Leans GOP" category. Republican Marco Rubio has a 10.6-point lead in the RCP Average over independent Cahrlie Crist and Democrat Kendrick Meek.