Do Americans have ‘Obama fatigue?’
CHICAGO – Are the magazine cover stories on Barack Obama and the blanket coverage of him on television and in newspapers creating voter “fatigue” with the candidate?
A Pew poll released this week suggests the Democratic presidential candidate may be overexposed and Obama himself did not disagree when asked about it on his campaign plane on Thursday.
Forty-eight percent of voters in the Pew survey said they have been “hearing too much” about Obama. By contrast, only 26 percent said they had heard too much about McCain.
Asked during a flight to Chicago whether there was “Obama fatigue,” the Democrat told reporters, “We are going to correct that this week, hopefully with your help.”
Obama leaves on Friday for a week-long trip to Hawaii, where he grew up and where the grandmother who helped to raise him still lives.
Obama plans to spend as much of the time as possible out of the limelight as he takes a break from the campaign trail with his wife, two daughters and some family friends. Most of his aides are remaining at his Chicago campaign headquarters.
His vacation coincides with the start of the Summer Olympics in Beijing. He will be back in the spotlight in the run-up to the Aug. 25-28 Democratic convention in Denver.
“We had the longest primary in history. And so I can imagine that folks need a break from politics and they didn’t really get one like they normally do,” Obama said.
“I think that the majority of people have been fed a constant stream of political chatter and I’m sure that having a couple weeks off and enjoying the Olympics is probably what the doctor ordered for everybody,” he added.
If Obama needed any convincing on whether he is getting too much exposure, he got it when he stopped in St. Paul earlier on Thursday to order a stack of pancakes and greet voters. Chatting with a woman and the three children she had in with her, Obama asked one of them, a four-year-old boy, what he had been doing all summer.
“Watching you on TV,” the little boy answered.
Photo Credit: Reuters/Scott Audettte (Obama delivers an Aug. 2 speech in Florida)