New White House message strategy: "Reform is the new Change"

The strategy involves heavy use of presidential statements and Obama’s White House platform to position him as an agent of popular change, with less reliance on a complicated legislative agenda. It represents a downsizing from the heady days just a year ago when he hoped to rack up legislative achievements of a scope not seen since the Great Society triumphs of President Lyndon Johnson.

It acknowledges implicitly something Obama aides make explicit in background conversations – the president is unlikely to pass the most expansive parts of his agenda this year and is too tied in public perceptions to a messy legislative process and unpopular congressional leaders…

The strategy, detailed here for the first time, is the culmination of weeks of internal deliberations over how to reposition Obama and congressional Democrats for the midterm congressional elections in November…

A top administration official said that “the biggest piece of reform” will be supporting congressional efforts to limit the impact of the Citizens United Supreme Court ruling that opened campaigns to huge independent spending by corporations and unions. “Americans really turned against this opinion, the official said. “And so the biggest reform is to ensure that our politics and our campaigns are not controlled by special interests. Getting legislation that deals with the Supreme Court decision on the floor and debated — and hopefully passed — is very important.”