There’s a sense that the economy has stalled, and that the Obama campaign is stuck in a time warp with a message that assumes steady if slow progress, when the jobs picture may not get better.

“Our real concern is that they’re just sleepwalking,” says a Democratic strategist, who did not want to be quoted by name criticizing the Obama campaign. His fear, echoed by many, is that Obama’s responses to the dire economic conditions fall far short of the bold leadership needed.

The latest gimmick rolled out by the White House, a To-Do list aimed at Congress that fits on a Post-it note, is emblematic of what’s missing. “A To-Do list is for little things, like picking up the dry cleaning; you don’t put “schedule your son’s MRI” or “buy a new house” on the list,” says this frustrated Democrat.