Waaay back in 1992, Bush 41 held a tortuous dialogue with voters at a New Hampshire primary meeting:
... "Two things. One, I know you're hurting; two, I care about it."
Still nothing, until, in his frustration with yet another unfriendly question, he let go finally, desperately, deathlessly. "But," he said, "the message: I care."
The veil slipped, the curtain was pulled back, the politician stood exposed. It was as though a magician had invited us backstage to watch as he stuffed the pigeons up his sleeve.
... Back then the word "message" still had the vaguely disreputable odor of the flack clinging to it. ... Then, suddenly, in 1992, here was the candidate just asserting it: You wanna message? Terrific. Here it is. Suck on it.
[Today,]it's become customary for a presidential candidate to "get his message across" by simply announcing that he's getting his message across.
Take at look at this Weekly Standard column for a quick overview of the "postmodern" campaign.