The point of the article is that he's playing his various policy cards poorly. That is entirely undecided; if he loses in 2012, he played them poorly. If he is able to demagogue himself into a second term, he may be a lot of things, but a "poor politician" isn't one of them.
Again, I don't think he did this.
I think the media did it, both by spouting lies and refusing to report his background.
I don't think he convinced them to do this; I think they wanted a far-left politician and would have used a brick wall if that's all they had to work with.