First, Peggy Noonan weighs in on Obams's growing "political disconnect":
"There's a new detachment between the president and the electorate he won a year ago by 9.5 million votes. The reason: In 2009, the Democrats who run the White House and Congress chose to go down one path at the exact moment voters went down a different one. The voters, frustrated and then alarmed, waited to fire the first available Democrat, and this week they did. Mr. Obama carried Democratic Jersey by more than 15 points exactly one year ago. The Democratic governor lost by nearly five points this week. That is a 20-point swing. Mr. Obama won Virginia a year ago by six points. The Democratic candidate for governor lost by more than 18 points. That is a 24-point plummet."
"A president has only so much time. Mr. Obama gives a lot of his to health care. But the majority of voters in New Jersey and Virginia told pollsters they were primarily worried about joblessness and the economy. They're on another path, and they don't like the path he's chosen. A majority in a Gallup poll out Wednesday said they now think the president governs from the left, not the middle. The majority did not expect that a year ago."
Next, Jonah Goldberg and Robert A. George speak to a far more troubling concern - Obama's emotional disconect:
"Yesterday when the Fort Hood news was breaking, at least a couple of the networks broke to President Obama's remarks at the Tribal Nations Conference, expecting a statement from Obama on the shootings.
What they saw for a few long, uncomfortable, minutes was Obama making routine political introductions and pandering to his audience. Here's how Robert A. George puts it:
But instead of a somber chief executive offering reassuring words and expressions of sympathy and compassion, viewers saw a wildly disconnected and, inappropriately light president making introductory remarks. At the event, a Tribal Nations Conference hosted by the Department of Interior's Bureau of Indian affairs, the president thanked various staffers and offered a "shout-out" to "Dr. Joe Medicine Crow — that Congressional Medal of Honor winner." Three minutes in, the president spoke about the shooting, in measured and appropriate terms. Who is advising him?
Anyone at home aware of the major news story of the previous hours had to have been stunned. An incident like this requires a scrapping of the early light banter. The president should apologize for the tone of his remarks, explain what has happened, express sympathy for those slain and appeal for calm and patience until all the facts are in. That's the least that should occur."
Indeed, some have even labeled this incident Obama's "Pet Goat Moment."
Whatever is going on, it's clear that a new narrative is being written about Obama - one that is far tougher on him than was seen even a few short weeks ago.