"But it's Fox!" some liberals will surely protest. Fine. The panel was evenly split among Obama and McCain voters. Thirteen of the assembled group supported Obama in 2008. Only three of those 13 believed the president when he told the nation he is determined the rein in spending. That is a nasty credibility gap that must be worrisome to the White House.
Yes, the president's approval ratings are ticking up slightly, and people remain favorably disposed to him personally, but he's wading into very dangerous territory. Many people no longer believe what he says. At this point, words alone will not be able to bridge that gap; it will take action. And whether President Obama has the political will or flexibility to take those concrete steps remains to be seen. Based on his ideology and track record, I'm dubious.