President Barack Obama, fresh from his drubbing in the 2010 midterms, is trying to revive his fortunes by pursuing a path toward the middle.
But Obama’s effort to overhaul his image is encumbered by conflicting impressions of who he is that have been engraved in voters’ minds by his own words.
These Freudian slips, uncovering the man beneath the spin and the speeches, are embedded in Americans’ subconscious, if you will, because they seem to come directly from the president’s inner self. Obama can change his policies, but he cannot easily erase these perceptions. And because of his cool opaqueness — noted even by his own staff — and his relatively brief track record on the national stage, voters have little else to go on.