Time to Hit the Road Obama?

"I think he's done a fair amount of travel especially when you consider the unprecedented amount of challenges he faced in office," Feldman said. "I can't remember a president coming into office with so many pressing demands."

Both Democratic and Republican strategists agreed that getting out of Washington and talking to the American public is a critical part of the presidency.

"I think it's really important that any president makes sure that they get out of Washington, out among the people and not only carry the message of whatever the president is carrying but also to get a sense of how people are feeling and see how they are reacting," said Jeff Eller, who worked in the Clinton White House as the director of media affairs.

"The best way to show people that you continue to understand their concerns is by showing the president with people outside of Washington," said Republican strategist Alex Conant. "Part of the reason any president gets elected is that people feel like they understand their concerns. It's hard to maintain that impression when you're living inside a bubble and rarely exposed to common people."

Georgetown University professor Stephen Wayne, who teaches a course on the American presidency, said it is not about the number of trips but the White House's efforts to engage Americans.

"It's critical that he be perceived to be on the same wave length as people outside the Beltway," Wayne said. "It's critical that he be perceived as one who understands their problems."

The Obama Administration has leaned heavily on events at the White House – nearly 40 percent of the president's events were held at the White House. According to Knoller, Obama held 426 speeches, statements or remarks in his first year in office and 163 of those were held at the White House.

Obama Reads 10 Letters Daily from Everyday Americans

This imagery can put Obama into a Washington box.

"When he's in a coat and tie behind the presidential seal, he's elevated and isolated," Wayne said. "When he's out interacting with people, the perception is he understands them or can interact with them."

"Most photos of the president are with him and other guys in suits. It's just an image that contrasts sharply with the campaign when the president constantly surrounded by everyday people who were not part of the Washington establishment," Republican strategist Conant said. "Obama's great at giving speeches but a picture is worth a thousand words. No matter how much he talks about understanding people's troubles, unless people actually see him in that context it's a tough sell." Wayne said that while Obama surrounded himself with academics and policy experts, the president "lost that emotional tie that took him into the White House with his movement."

Town hall meetings are the easiest and perhaps most effective way for a president to work to repair that tie. Put the president in front of Americans, allow him to take off his jacket and roll up his shirt sleeves. Answer questions from everyday citizens and engage with constituents.

Eller called the White House a "confining environment."

"It's somewhat liberating to get on the road," he said. "Because you can really go out and connect one on one and one too many and you get that feedback that is so vital to the president."

Obama agrees.

"It's always nice to get out of Washington," he said last week in Tampa, "and spend a little time with the people who sent me to Washington."

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