Barack Obama’s inexperience is showing and the young, brash President now seems destined to become the next Jimmy Carter.
New polls show a majority of Americans once again believe the country is headed in the wrong direction and Obama’s job approval ratings continue their slide downward and will slip soon below the dreaded 50 percent threshold.
Health care reform, the benchmark of his struggling Presidency, is on life support and Obama will go on prime time Wednesday night in an attempt to shore up public support.
Fox, smelling political death at 1600 Pennsylvania, will stick to its slimy reality show, So You Think You Can Dance, rather than carry the Presidential press conference live. Reality shows draw viewers. President Obama is not a draw. He’s history, yesterday’s news.
Obama fell hard and fast. As The Associated Press reports today:
That was fast. The hope and optimism that washed over the country in the opening months of Barack Obama’s presidency are giving way to harsh realities.
An Associated Press-GfK Poll shows that a majority of Americans are back to thinking that the country is headed in the wrong direction after a fleeting period in which more thought it was on the right track.
The number of people who think Obama can improve the economy is down a sobering 19 percentage points from the euphoric days just before his inauguration. Ditto for expectations about creating jobs. Also down significantly: the share of people who think he can reduce the deficit, remove troops from Iraq and improve respect for the U.S. around the world, all slipping 15 points.
Media pundits no longer fawn over Obama’s rhetoric. Questions abound about the President’s preference of style over substance. Fewer and fewer are willing to accept what the President says on blind faith. After six months in office, the words ain’t selling like they once did.
Obama brought this upon himself. He tried to do too much too fast. After promising moderation he moved further and further to the left, relying on a typical Democratic path of trying to spend our way out of trouble.
Even Democrats grumble that the President is going too far. Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) openly compares some Obama programs to the Titanic. Moderate Democrats complain the President has sold them out.
Others say Obama has broken too many campaign promises, retrenched on too many issues and abandoned his promises of change to play traditional political games.
Few of his promises hit their benchmarks. The growing Afghan war is becoming his Vietnam, the vote on his Supreme Court nominee is delayed for a week and national health care will not be passed before the August recess. The economic stimulus is mired in government bureaucracy and his retrenchments on issues like torture and the scandal-tainted prison at Guantanamo Bay anger supporters who expected him to restore at least some of the freedoms taken away by the corrupt administration of President George W. Bush.
Increasingly, Americans believe Obama was not ready for the job as President, that he was thrust into the limelight too soon, that he needed more experience before tackling the toughest job in the world.
A failed attempt to reform health care almost destroyed the Bill Clinton presidency but Clinton is a skilled politician who knew how to come back time and again. Obama is bright and charismatic but he is not Clinton. He doesn’t have Clinton’s savvy or the former President’s street smarts.
In the 2008 Presidential campaign, Obama’s optimistic campaign rhetoric proved to be a recipie for success.
In the harsh reality of 2009, that same rhetoric may be the poison that kills the Presidency of Barack Hussein Obama.