I think people generally overrate the importance of “messaging” in political outcomes, but Ben Smith’s reporting on some recent health care strategizing reveals what looks to be a truly important failure:
The presentation concedes that groups typically supportive of Democratic causes — people under 40, non-college educated women, and Hispanic voters — have not been won over by the plan. Indeed, it stresses repeatedly, many are unaware that the legislation has passed, an astonishing shortcoming in the White House’s all-out communications effort.
Obviously if the people who are predisposed to take a favorable view of your controversial initiatives don’t even know the initiatives have happened then it’s going to be hard to secure majority approval of your conduct. Delaying implementation of the main aspects of the Affordable Care Act to 2014 is going to make this difficult to overcome.