John Dickerson, political director for CBS, writing for Slate where he is the chief political correspondent:
They say that the message that the president will carry to victory is the one he outlined last week in Kansas. In it Obama argued for a shared effort to restore national greatness based on the idea that everyone should have a fair shot at the American dream.
But this sounds familiar, doesn't it? That's because we've seen this play over and over again from the president. This year alone we were introduced to the new Obama in his September jobs speech, in his April rebuttal to Paul Ryan, and in his January State of the Union address. …The briefing suggested a pretty rough campaign… it's hard to see how voters are going to see any hope at all.
Undoubtedly, though, team Obama will get more specific when they know their final opponent. After all, the communications strategy for taking down a Romney vs. a Newt varies vastly even if the president tried to frame them all as one in the same, enemies of the same team, in his interview with 60 Minutes this Sunday.
I also have to subscribe to Tom Brokaw's UFO theory here: the unforeseen will occur. The economy could right itself; Gingrich could
(will) implode; we could discover something about Romney that people can relate to. There are all sorts of options, scandals, crises, and great moments to come on this trail. Those dismissing Obama now should at least stick around to see who his actual competition will be before calling the game.