The latest example is George Packer's New Yorker article, which heads downhill from the hack subtitle "The President's failure to connect with ordinary Americans." As I wrote, presidents "connect" when they're popular, and they're popular when the economy is strong.
The underlying analytical claim of Packer's piece is that Obama is in trouble because he has "struggled to convey to his countrymen that he understands their suffering, and knows what to do about it." Packer suggests the President needs to convey "a strong worldview" like Ronald Reagan, who supposedly succeeded despite the recession of 1981-1982 and political compromises with Democrats because he conveyed such a worldview: "Reagan could recover from battlefield setbacks because he was fighting a larger war."
In reality, Reagan "could recover" because the economy recovered. His supposedly clearer worldview didn't seem to change media coverage or his approval ratings in 1981-1982 when the economy was at its worst. There's no reason to think that speeches conveying a clearer worldview would have a significant effect on Obama's standing. (Per Matthew Dickinson, see also the New York Times profile of David Axelrod for additional pining for a better meta-narrative.)
An even more insipid analysis comes from Time's Mark Halperin, who blames "much of the political predicament in which the present decider finds himself today" on Obama's lack of a chief economic spokesperson, lack of sufficient political and policy integration, failure to distance himself from Congressional Democrats, and failure to delegate to his cabinet on domestic policy. Really? Obama's "political predicament" would be different if he turned loose Ray LaHood? (See Jonathan Bernstein for more on Halperin; I refuse to dignify the piece with a longer response.)
In short, this entire genre of political coverage is useless. If/when the economy picks up, Obama's speeches will start "connecting" and everyone will marvel at how effective the White House political team has become.