Obama has been a constant presence in the mass media as he expands the bureaucracy’s reach into the private sector while presiding over national debates on issues that have become the focus of arguments over big government.

In doing so, he has created a quandary. Put aside for a moment the question of whether government is actually intruding into people’s lives more than before. The point is that many people feel like it is — in part because Obama doesn’t stop talking about his goals. If President George W. Bush got slapped around for being inarticulate, is Obama obnoxiously articulate?

“Obama’s omnipresence refracts as big government to some degree,” says Eric Dezenhall, an image consultant who has worked with celebrities and business leaders. “For those who like him, it reinforces their support for him. But for others, every time he appears, he conjures up the whole whiff of overreaching government and causes resentment.”