Stan Greenberg is one of the best Democratic pollsters in the business. I have always learned from him, and several times I have brought him into campaigns to fashion or focus a message.
That's why I found Greg Sargent's post yesterday so important. In research since the first presidential debate, Greenberg has identified a key problem with Obama's communications: a lack of specific agenda to help middle-class voters, particularly unmarried women. I have been making the same point for a while, but Greenberg has the data to back it up and a smart prescription to cure this message muddle.
Basically, Greenberg argues that Obama must draw a central contrast between Romney's social Darwinist message of "you are on your own" and Obama's belief that "we are in this together." This should be Obama's north star. It explains Romney's “47 percent” remark and his tax and budget policies. It also provides a frame for Obama's policy prescriptions which, so far, have seem disparate and washed out. Actually, within this message, they can become vivid again, set forth as a rally cry for the middle class.
Undoubtedly, the Obama brain trust believes in a similar message and was dumbfounded when the president didn't deliver it in Denver. The question now is not whether the operatives have the right message; it is whether the president believes in it and is willing to put his full fight behind it.