Amid the barrage of criticism, as Obama strains to respond to every new crisis, the White House's moves begin to look like guesses, or even shrugs. "When you don't know what you can plan for," Gibbs says, "then you're watching and reacting. And in this town, if you're just watching and reacting, it never ends well."
Beltway wags have long wondered how it is that Obama, such a gifted communicator, can't manage to tell the story of his own accomplishments. As an insider, that criticism always annoyed me, because it conveniently ignores the realities of how things have changed. As an outsider now, I see the point. If someone this talented and this appealing can't succeed in forging consensus – or even settle on a consistent narrative about what he's done – then what hope is there for the next president? We suddenly find ourselves living in a post-narrative world, and our politics, somehow, are going to have to adapt.
The White House isn't panicking. They know that in spite of everything, they have managed over six years to accomplish much of what Obama promised to do, even if accomplishing it helped speed the process of partisan breakdown. "Everything that you're saying about communications is not actually about communications per se as it is about the polarized nature of the country," the White House adviser says. "There's no clean shot" for communicating the president's message. "That's just where the country's going. And it's going to be worse for the next president," he adds, "hands down."
Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-presidency-and-the-press-20140804#ixzz39YjZCSW9