Here's how you know, if you are the President of the United States, that things are going in the wrong direction.
You have scheduled a speech to the Democratic National Committee meeting in Washington, DC.
It snows about 20 inches in Washington, DC weakening your arguments for cap-and-trade legislation
A car spins into the press van travelling with your motorcade
You do the speech and generate headlines like this one from the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram:
Obama Seeks to Rally Glum Dems Amid GOP Challenges
Meanwhile Sarah Palin's keynote speech to the Tea Party meeting in Memphis, Tennessee, is covered like your State of the Union Address had been two weeks earlier, leading the chattering class to compare your appearance with that of Gov. Palin.
Palin's speech generated headlines like this in the Nashville Tennessean: Palin: Tea Party Movement is a Call to Action
Here's a basic rule of political counter-punching: You want your lowest ranking person in a public fight with your opponent's highest ranking person - preferably your opponent.
For example, if you are managing the campaign for the guy running against an incumbent for Congress, you want to have the kid who does the morning clips in a public argument with the Congressman.
That diminishes the Congressman and enhances the clips kid.
Over weekend the losing candidate for Vice President was, for all intents and purposes, treated as the political equal of the President of the United States.
This, if you are in the political shop at the White House, is not good.
The Democrats are going backwards at an increasing rate. For example, during the week, U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) said, in a display of classlessness unique even for him, that the new Senator from Massachusetts, Scott Brown's candidacy was "a joke" because he was sworn in a week early - having buried his Democratic opponent so thoroughly that even the Democratic Secretary of State couldn't find a reason to delay certifying the election.
Everyone in politics knows that if Patrick Kennedy's name were anything but Kennedy he would have long-since been thrown out of office, and rightfully so.
No one poked their head out of the snow to agree with Kennedy, but neither did any Democrat suggest he should zip it.
In New York, former Tennessee Congressman Harold Ford is wreaking havoc by sampling the air to see if there is enough oxygen for him to mount a primary challenge against Senator Kirsten Gillibrand who was appointed from her U.S. House seat after Hillary Clinton became Secretary of State.