Is Obama's Agenda Overloaded?

PHOTO President Barack Obama has a lot on his plate.

On five Sunday talk shows, Barack Obama has perhaps appeared before the American people more often than any modern president at this point in his term -- by some estimates, three times as much as his predecessors, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.

The media blitz also included stints on Jay Leno and The David Letterman Show on Monday.

"My calculation is that, at the end of today, the president will have appeared, in terms of national print and broadcast media, about 124 times, up to this point in his term," Robert Reich, co-founder of The American Prospect and former labor secretary in the Clinton administration.

VIDEO: The president appeared on five Sunday news programs to push health care reform.
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But in all this zeal to reach the American public, Obama's ability to articulate his wide-reaching agenda pushes some analysts to ask if he has overloaded his political plate.

The president who promised change has a super agenda: health care, the economy, Afghanistan, the European missile defense system, the Middle East and climate change, not to mention issues of racism and a swine flu pandemic.

Some Charge Overexposure in Media

Media overexposure, say some, is the least of his problems.

"Most people say you have to break some eggs to get an omelet, but with Obama, the eggs are broken and the omelet is still far from made," said presidential historian and ABC News consultant Richard Norton Smith.

"To some degree we are in uncharted water," he told ABCNews.com. "History suggests that particularly in hard times, it becomes more difficult for a president to implement so ambitious an agenda."

In the inevitable comparisons to the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt, which brought seismic change to American government after three years of the Great Depression, Obama's presidency is unique.

"Roosevelt had three years of economic despair to capitalize on," said Smith. "He was able to tap into the anger."

Obama, on the other hand, worked closely with the Bush administration in its final months to bail out the banking system.

"Obama is paying the price for being responsible," said Smith. "It's really not much of a rallying cry under the slogan, 'It could have been worse.'"

Frustration with Obama's health care agenda mounted last week, as he deflected former President Jimmy Carter's charges that those angered by the president's attempt at reform were "racist."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's lip quivered when she wondered aloud if violence could ensue, remembering the slaying of gay activist Harvey Milk in San Francisco in 1978.

"Mrs. Pelosi had a point," said Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan, who served as a speechwriter for Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

"Things get high," she said on ABC's "This Week" with George Stephanopoulos, "It's always good to cool things down. But, essentially, what we have here is a very new president. He's only been here for 10 months. He is a young man. He didn't have deep, long, profound experience."

Noonan suggested that important issues are being clouded because Obama's ambitious agenda appears all over the map.

"He is attempting right now to change, what is it, 17 percent, 18 percent of the GNP of the United States of America, changing how it works, health care," she said. "But on top of that, people are thinking about -- in America -- the economy, unemployment, war and peace, two wars that are going."

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