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Obama's Challenge: Credibility and Public Confidence

President Barack Obama
CNBC.com
President Barack Obama

President Obama lacks the popularity and credibility now to give Americans confidence about the economy, Washington Post reporter Neil Irwin told CNBC Friday.

“Given that he may be about to lose the House,” added Irwin, “He’s going to face a very formidable legislative environment in the next couple of years.

"Can he, at least, be the voice of reason and send some confidence and just be the adult in the room?”

Irwin said that Monday’s Town Hall with Obama is aimed squarely at the business community, to offer reassurance to Wall Street that he’s willing to listen to their concerns about regulation and taxes. (Watch video of Irwin's comments here.)

Obama has angered not just Wall Street, but the Senate, by naming Elizabeth Warrento serve as a special advisor to oversee the setup of the new consumer protection agency, said Jeanne Cummings, assistant managing editor at Politico told CNBC.

“By creating this position for her and not officially nominating her to take over the bureau, the White House is undermining the authority that that bureau will have,” said Cummings.

“That bureau is supposed to be the steady and strong arm for the consumer inside the Fed, and not in the White House.”

The president need not seek Congressional approval of such an appointment. And, in fact, other presidents have exercised their right to make appointments without an legislative okay.

For example, both Clinton and Obama have appointed economic czars without sending the nominations to the Hill.