Whatever he does should be seen as working at the Presidency and if he goes to Colorado for Christmas it should be for a minimum amount of time the family tradition and family get-together aspect emphasized and it be seen as a working vacation.
The President's political travel is going to get blamed (and probably rightly) for a share of this downturn.
The President has not created any Ford constituency unique from that of any Republican President. The one exception to this is that he does show unique strength with young voters for a Republican.
While only about half of the voters feel they know very much about Reagan or what he stands for the Republicans who do have a very positive perception of him.
Every person has only so much attention to give and politics and government takes up only a fraction of what it did 25 years ago.
Look at the declining television coverage. Look at the declining voting rate. Economics and economic news is what moves the country now not politics.
Many citizens see all the leadership of these large institutions together in a conspiracy against them rather than in any adversary relationship with each other.
Research has shown that the perceived style of leadership is by far the most important thing to most voters in evaluating officeholders and candidates.
This is easy to say with the benefit of hindsight but I think it once again points out how very important style of leadership that is the way he does what he does is to his perception.
Without a Mayaguez or something comparable that we don't see in the immediate future there is probably no one thing the President can do to himself to turn this situation around.
I think we need one recognized respected public figure to make a tough blunt statement on just what Reagan's record is and what he might do to the country let alone the Republican Party before Christmas.