Time to Hit the Road Obama?

Both Eller and Feldman said that beyond the imagery, the town hall events, the rope lines, the drop bys at diners all can boost a president.

"You can really go out and connect one-on-one and one-to-many and you get that feedback that is so vital to the president," Eller said.

"Taking questions from people who come to a town hall people is a chance for the president to interact directly with his constituents," Feldman said. "And it's hard to do in the modern day presidency but that is one way to do that."

Of course Obama is not completely cut off from the American people. The White House hears from thousands daily who are writing with their concerns, questions or suggestions for the president.

Obama often references a daily ritual that started in his first week in office – he reads 10 letters sent to him from everyday Americans.

Mid-Term Elections May Bring More Travel

The president requested he see these letters daily "to help get him outside of the bubble, to get more than just the information you get as an elected official," according to spokesman Robert Gibbs. Even then Obama was concerned that he would be isolated from the American public.

"The letters impact him greatly," senior advisor David Axelrod said.

But former Bush staffer Fratto said that it is not that the American people believe the president is completely out of touch with his constituents, but rather that they need to know and see that he is connecting and listening.

The challenging logistics of presidential travel are another key reason why they do not hit the road as much as staff and constituents may like.

"It's very hard to move the ship of state on short notice," Fratto said.

"The reality of it is you have at least a day devoted to getting to and from and you're spending that time even if it's just a day trip," said Democratic strategist Feldman. "It does preclude a normal schedule at the White House."

Feldman noted that a president can work from the road – "the office travels with him."

"But when you look at two days – on the road versus a day in the office – you see that he can get a lot done when he's in the office and when he's on the road he's limited," Feldman said.

With the mid-term elections in November, it is likely that Obama's travel will pick up more over the next 10 months. He heads to Colorado and Nevada later this month for campaign events for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo.

As his political travel increases, it is likely there will be an increase in the number of official events (a town hall, small business tour, speech) that Obama does on the road.

"On a pragmatic level if the president is traveling on official business he can throw on some political fundraising without having the campaigns have to pay the full expense -- the taxpayer will pick up some of the tab," said Conant.

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