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Obama famously rode a historic wave to the White House. That wave turned on him long ago. But he seemingly never got off. Never succeeded against the tide. Never came close to turning the tide. This is when discipline appears timid, when stability appears stolid and cool appears cold.

And it’s not getting better. No end to the BP crisis is in sight. As Zelizer warned, “The public watches a president like they watch a TV-show character. Those perceptions set in and they are incredibly hard to change. That’s why the oil spill is significant and the longer it goes on, the more feelings harden.”

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At some point, the bad show also goes on too long. Negative perceptions of the character are formed. That’s the tipping point. And it’s possible, but not necessarily probable, that Obama’s point has already come to pass.

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David Paul Kuhn is chief political correspondent for RealClearPolitics and author of "The Neglected Voter." This column first appeared at RealClearPolitics.com.
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