BOSTON (CBS) — Did you catch President Obama’s exit interview with his former campaign manager David Axelrod? The president says he could have beaten Donald Trump if he hadn’t been precluded by the Constitution from running again this year.

Maybe so. But the president also appeared to attribute Hillary Clinton’s defeat and the poor showing by Democrats overall to a failure to communicate how much better the Democratic agenda allegedly is than the alternatives.

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“The problem is, is that we’re not there on the ground communicating not only the dry policy aspects of this, but that we care about these communities, that we’re bleeding for these communities,” Obama said.

He wasn’t out there communicating? That was the problem? With all due respect, you have got to be kidding me.

This president used the media to communicate directly with the public far more than any of his predecessors. Before his first term was over he had passed Ronald Reagan as history’s most-televised president. Halfway through his second term, he had given far more interviews across all forms of media than presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush combined.

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The problem wasn’t lack of exposure. If anything, this president was overexposed early on. The problem was the classic Washington insider’s tone-deafness, not understanding, for instance, that when you tell folks if they like their doctor they can keep their doctor, it had better be true.

President Obama leaves office personally popular, but his agenda – and that of his party – remains vague and suspect at times. And that’s a branding problem more face time on TV can’t fix.

 

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