If, at the end of the week, the White House was already spinning Obama 2.0 as more populist, more pointed, and more accessible — with the Prez on Friday escaping the confines of the White House and the Oval Office to bond (1, 2, 3 ) with the good people of Ohio — TIME begged to differ.
Echoing this paragraph from the NYT article detailing the second coming of Plouffe:
The discussion inside the White House includes at least two distinct debates: Should Mr. Obama assume a more populist or centrist theme in his message? And should the White House do what it takes to pass compromise legislation or should it force votes, which even if unsuccessful can be used to carry an argument against Republicans in the fall?
…TIME’s Obama looked more at a loss, somewhat stymied — or else, just sucking on a binky.
So, which was more authentic?
Update 4pm PST: Just noticed Newsweek’s cover, weighing in with its own black-and-white (been there, done that?), singular (isolated?) and regressed Obama. (I must have channeled their use of “stymied.”)
BAG’s take now: It’s an ambush — taking specific, if unstated aim at Obama’s youthfulness (that quality, amplified by his overabundant earnestness).
(photo 1: Callie Shell/Aurora for TIME. photo 2: still looking.)