Over the past year, with the jobless rate hovering near 10 percent, Obama has repeatedly promised to shift from other matters to the economy. He did so again this week, saying during his Oval Office address on Iraq that he would turn to the economy “in the days to come.”

But some Democratic candidates and political operatives feel the president is not doing enough to help them keep control of Congress, privately expressing frustration that Obama has recently emphasized issues other than the economy.

“We did the mosque, Katrina, Iraq, and now Middle East peace?” said a Democratic strategist who works closely with multiple candidates and spoke on the condition of anonymity. “And in between you redo the Oval Office? It has become a joke.”