President Obama needs to do damage control

The announcement this week by the feds that the recession could be ending should have been great news for the Obama administration. After all, it is the president's economy now, and if it turns upward, he will be celebrated, right?

Uh, maybe not.

It may seem insane, but the ACORN scandal could now be diminishing any good economic news. The community activist outfit has been embarrassed by two amateur journalists who used hidden cameras to expose ACORN employees discussing how to set up houses of prostitution, including one utilizing underage girls.

Soon after the expose, the Senate voted 83 to 7 to deny ACORN further federal grants. And even though the committed left media pretty much ignored the story, millions of Americans are engaged.

Just like they are engaged on the health care controversy. A recent Rasmussen poll shows most Americans now oppose ObamaCare even after the president's emotional plea last week. So what exactly is going on here?

I think President Obama is experiencing some buyer's remorse. The furious opposition to his policies has made for great television, and those images are now overriding what policy success he may be having. During the campaign, Obama appeared cool and in control to the public. But now he seems bewildered at times, taken aback by the strident and persistent attacks on his vision for the country.

Those attacks are not going to stop. Conservative Americans deeply distrust the president on philosophy not just policy. So the White House must come up with a strategy to blunt the emotional anti-Obama displays or risk being marginalized in year one. The Obama people must convince those who supported the president despite reservations that they did not vote for the wrong guy.

In public relations land, the biggest mistake the president is making is avoiding moderate conservatives who would give him a fair shake. Today, Obama is appearing on all the Sunday chat shows to talk up health care. All except "Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace." Bad decision.

Wallace is no ideologue, and Fox News is dominating the national conversation right now. By avoiding Fox, the president looks weak. He is preaching to the choir on the network news shows. But the choir is obviously losing members. All the polls show that.

So if I'm Barack Obama, I take the economy and the aggressive stuff I'm doing against al-Qaida and the Taliban, and I bring it over to the loyal opposition. That would get some attention. And it might also bury the ACORN scandal in the process.


• Bill O'Reilly is host of the Fox News show "The O'Reilly Factor."

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