"What we have here is a failure to communicate", as the oft repeated phrase goes, precisely characterizes the messaging capabilities of the Democratic party. For the many years that I have been closely following politics, one of the many observations that I have made is that Republicans are GREAT at Marketing/Messaging/Communicating/Campaigning yet SUCK at actually governing, while Democrats SUCK at Marketing/Messaging/Communicating/Campaigning but are GREAT at governing. Republicans do an excellent job of communicating to and rallying their mostly single-minded base while the much wider tent Democrats struggle to communicate a common message and rallying cry to their more diversely thinking base.
Here's a long list ... excuse the language ...). At the time that Obama took office, there was a VERY REAL possibility of the 2nd Coming of the Great Depression. Though highly politically unpopular, most Economists agree that the bailouts of the financial institutions WORKED and prevented the entire US economic system from spiraling downwards rapidly. Incidentally, those same "bailouts" were actually a LOAN and were paid back WITH INTEREST by the at-risk major financial institutions.