Unless he is playing his cards really close to the vest, and fooling everyone, including me, in the process, the path that Barack Obama has set in his administration is that of the eternal candidate.
Popularity is the goal, and the communication assets at his disposal are being used to boost and maintain his popularity. Town-hall meetings, appearances on Leno, etc. are part of a PR campaign that hides the lack of policies that confront the US economic meltdown, the perpetual wars, the environmental emergency, and the erosion of constitutional protections.
Instead, we get PR, and an insulting (to the voters) continuation of Bush/Cheney's most egregious policy failures. Since the media favored those policies from the beginning, and have renounced them only in the most superficial way, they see nothing strange about this. It's normality, something they cling to with all their strength and will.
But reality has a way of creeping in, and going Boo! when you least expect it. Failure to talk about the growing world-wide protests, the accelerating instability of governments, and the economic misery of growing numbers of Americans doesn't make them any less real, it is just more temporizing, as we saw in the last two years of the Bush administration. Obama, Gates and Geithner keep kicking the ball down the road, hoping things will miraculously get better, but the problems are just festering under the media blackout.
Obama got elected as a relative unknown. His main talent is his communication skill, but opting to follow the polls rather than lead the country shows an unmistakable lack of perception, both of the problems and what it might take to confront them. The clock is ticking.