Read Slate's complete coverage of the 2010 midterm elections.
The president is feeling out the new situation. He was cautious in response to an electorate that was not. He seemed to struggle in the press conference, as he has throughout his presidency, with those parts of his job that call on him to convey to people that he understands what they're going through. "You know, there is an inherent danger in being in the White House and being in the bubble," he said. "One of the challenges that we've got to think about is—is how do I meet my responsibilities here in the White House, which require a lot of—a lot of hours and a lot of work, but still have that opportunity to engage with the American people on a—on a day-to-day basis and know—give them confidence that I'm listening to them?"
He doesn't necessarily have to travel to send that message. One place he could have started was at Wednesday's press conference.
Video: Obama Feels Bad About Dems' Losses