Shaken White House Looks to Regain Footing

President Barack Obama

After a brutal week for the White House, the Obama administration is vowing to start turning things around with voters this week. The public relations push comes after a stunning defeat for democrats in the Massachusetts Senate race and the results of a new poll showing that 63 percent of Americans think the country is seriously off track. CBS News senior White House correspondent Bill Plante has more.

In the State of the Union address President Obama will deliver Wednesday, he'll be seeking to reconnect with the millions of Americans who voted for change - but didn't see it in his first year.

He's on the cover of two national news magazines this week - one asking the question "now what?"

The loss of a Democratic senate seat in Massachusetts set off the alarm. A Washington Post poll shows almost two -thirds of those who voted for Republican Scott Brown said they opposed the Democrats' agenda.

The president's advisers said today he got the message and that his State of the Union speech will focus on jobs and the economy.

"I think the president will go through a series of things," said White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs. "How do we continue to work to get out economy back on track? How do we put main street in better shape?"

The long debate in Washington about health care may have been a turnoff for voters.

Special Report: Health Care Reform

"If you look at the polls out of Massachusetts people reacted as much to the process as anything else," Obama advisor David Axelrod said on ABC's "This Week" Sunday. "Were there things we could have done there? Perhaps. We have to think that through."

One part of thinking it through may be the decision to ask political adviser David Plouffe, one of the architects of Mr. Obama's 2008 victory, to oversee Democrats' campaign strategy for the November mid-term elections.

In today's Washington Post, Plouffe writes, "If democrats do what the American people sent them to Washington to do, November will be nothing like the nightmare that talking heads have forecast".

Advisers were quick to insist today that rumors of a major White House staff shakeup are overblown.

"Washington loves the 'When are we going to throw a body out?' story," Axelrod said. "That's not how we roll."

In his State of the Union speech, the president will try to recapture the narrative. He'll outline a "new foundation" for the country, and promise to "rescue, restore and rebuild." And he'll promise that health care reform isn't dead.