On his way out after 30 years in Congress, House Speaker Tom Foley had one regret: "Somehow I was not able to communicate."
Foley said he had failed to get out the word about the work Congress does and its accomplishments.President Clinton has often complained in a similar vein. If only people knew what his administration has achieved, the president says, they would have a very different - positive - view.
In a variation on the theme, some congressional Democrats who lost last month blame conservative talk show hosts who were able to define the issues.
It's tempting to dismiss such grievances as whining by losers, but there is an element of truth there. The industry of bashing the president and Congress has spread like kudzu during the last two years, and the relentless negativity was bound to take a toll.