Brad Delong nails it:
If Obama does not understand that his job is not to please the electorate by indulging its prejudices but rather to manage the path to a strong economy, he needs to be told what his job is every hour of every day until he does understand that.
I would broaden this out to all politicians. Your job is not to do what the voters think will make them better off. Your job is to deliver the prosperity – to do the things that, in your read of the evidence, are actually going to work to make most people better off. Issue polls are a nice guide to how much political space you have to do what you think is best, and they matter more the closer you get to an election, if your goal is to get reelected. But that’s about all they’re good for. To put it charitably, voters are not policy experts, and they aren’t paying close attention to the nitty gritty of what you’re voting on. You have a lot of political space, and a lot of agency to do what you think is the right thing, especially fresh off an election.