When it comes to domestic issues like the deficit and health care or world hotspots like Iran and Afghanistan, many Americans are asking the same question: Where is the White House leadership?
Hillary Clinton scored big against Barack Obama during the 2008 primary campaign when she questioned his experience in the season's most famous political ad.
Now, nine months into his presidential term, others are asking the same question, as the Taliban gains ground in Afghanistan, the mullahs of Iran thumb their nose at the United States and Russia does what it pleases on the world stage.
At home, President Obama deferred to Congress on the stimulus package and health care, which led to a summer of anger in the streets and at town hall meetings.
He has also stepped back from two major deadlines he set: passage of health care by the end of August and closing Guantanamo Bay by the end of year.
The Washington political magazine National Journal asked this week if the president is tough enough.
"The president has reached a tipping point whether deliberation is starting to look like hesitation//one of the biggest risks is that the American public begins to question whether or not you have the leadership skills," said Republican strategist Kevin Madden.
This weekend, the White House sent out defenders.
"I think he has been plenty tough," said White House Senior Advisor David Axelrod. "I think people want toughness, but they also want to have thoughtful leadership. And that, and that requires reviewing these issues, thinking them through clearly, and bringing people along--and that's what he's doing."
While the White House deliberates with foreign enemies, it takes aim at its perceived domestic foes, most notably Fox News. And the president is answering his critics in full battle cry.
"You can throw whatever you want at me," Obama said. "Keep it coming. We're going to get this done."