Unplugged: Obama's Make-Or-Break Moment


President Obama faces a daunting week as he aims to sell his health-care plan with an address Wednesday to a joint session of Congress, but the spotlight right now is focused on his problems rather than his policy with the conservative media leading the charge.

From town-hall protests and Tea Party marches across the U.S. (culminating this week in Washington), to the resignation of controversial "green jobs czar" Van Jones, right-wing personalities like Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and Matt Drudge are spearheading an assault against the administration and there's been little done to counter them.

On Monday's "Washington Unplugged," Politico's Andy Barr told CBS News Correspondent Bob Orr, "The problem for them {the administration} is that they face distraction after distraction, whether we're talking about those town-halls in August that energy seems to have spilled over now with this controversy of Van Jones."

Nick Ragone, media strategist with Ketchum Inc., a media strategy firm in New York adds, "The President would have been wiser to step back…instead of trying to force it {health care reform} through Congress. I think the way the administration has gone about it has really lit up the right in a way that they haven't in a long time."

One of the questions that remain is whether or not the administration is leaving the door open for these "fringe groups" to find the ammunition they need to attack.

"The right-wing fringe groups didn't get Van Jones. Van Jones got Van Jones and that's indicative of bigger problems with the Obama administration as far as vetting people. From Daschle now to Van Jones," notes Ragone.

How can the administration get back on top and hold their own against their critics? "Don't get off message . . . it needs to be health care, health care, health care for the next 2 or 3 weeks . . . He can't get distracted into other things…He's got to get it done now or it's going to be lost." says Ragone.

What is clear is that the President needs to refocus and get the health care reform he's staked the first year of his first term on. "This week is huge in terms of regaining control of his message. If they can't do it with that speech on Wednesday it's kind of unclear what they're going to do . . . He is going to sign something he can call health care reform, but what's in it, what they can call 'a win' is going to get determined this week," says Barr.

Watch Monday's "Unplugged" above. "Washington Unplugged" appears live on CBSNews.com each weekday at 12:30 p.m. ET. Click here to check out previous episodes.

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