Salena Zito

So far, he has blamed the stagnant economy on ATMs, ditches, Slurpees, corporate-jet owners, the Tea Party, Republicans, Japan’s earthquake, the Arab Spring, the Arab Summer, George Bush, and “fat-cat” Wall Street something-or-others. The kitchen sink may be next.

His numbers are tumbling in the critical battleground states of Pennsylvania, Virginia Florida, North Carolina and New Hampshire – states he must win in 2012.

RealClearPolitics crunched the numbers based on the electoral-college vote: Total from states giving Obama 51 percent or higher approval, 166; from states at 49 percent or lower, 320.

A presidential candidate needs 270 electoral votes to win.

Here is what White House strategists don't get: As Americans struggle with uncertainty, they believe Obama is not providing real solutions – and they also believe he is part of the partisan bickering, or is using his “bully pulpit” to instigate it.

Here is what strategists on both sides don't get about the 2012 election: It is not the same as the 2010 midterms.

That previous cycle was a collective outcry to lessen the power of one party and to halt the president’s policies. The next cycle is personal; it is about your home, your pocketbook, your family, and ensuring your future is less uncertain.

When an earthquake hit the Eastern Seaboard last week, presidential spokesman Josh Earnest said of Obama, who was golfing at the time: “(He) didn't feel the earthquake today.”

Sort of a telling metaphor for this presidency.

One reason why the president vacations on Martha’s Vineyard, which only the upper class can afford, and not in back-roads America, is that up there you can maintain the everything’s-alright bubble and the crowds adore you.

Out on U.S. Route 11, not so much.

Salena Zito

Salena Zito is a political analyst, reporter and columnist.