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Obama’s lackluster job performance: From bad to worse

By DOUG THOMPSON
June 18, 2010

Rapidly-failing Barack Obama hit free-fall status this week with new polls showing his public approval ratings nosediving from his mishandling of the Gulf Oil crisis along with an increasing awareness that voters were had when they voted this amateur into office in 2008.

A new CNN/Opinion Research poll reveals 59 percent now disapprove of Obama’s job performance, an eight-point rise in just a month and a massive jump over the last several months.

And Obama’s star is fading on the international stage as well.

A new Pew Global Attitude Study finds America’s favorable ratings have fallen 10 percent in five years — making America more unpopular than during George W. Bush’s last days in office. In Turkey, a NATO ally, Obama’s approval has also dropped 10 percent.

Pew polled 24,000 people in 22 countries and found growing uneasiness over Obama’s policies in Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran and concern that the U.S. acts “unilaterally” in its policies without concern for its allies.

Here at home, American confidence in Obama continues to slide.

By comparison, former President George W. Bush had strong approval ratings at the same point in his Presidency, largely because of positive public response to his post-9/11 actions. That approval rating would slide in coming months and Bush would leave office as one of the most unpopular Presidents in history.

Obama’s downfall came with his health care “reform” debacle. He caved to health care industry lobbyists, let them write the bill, backed down on a public option and sold out the voters who believed in him. Anyone who thinks the crippled health care bill passed by Congress and signed into law by Obama is “reform” is deranged and in need of serious mental health care.

Strong public disapproval of Obama’s inept handling of the Gulf Oil spill environmental disaster isn’t the only political landmine threatening the future of his Presidency. His promised withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan is running into problems and public dissatisfaction with that long, unwinnable war is growing.

His programs have stalled in Congress and Representative and Senators facing tough re-election campaigns are not willing to share a limb with a President that some Democrats now feel is a liability to their futures. Obama’s endorsement carries no weight with voters.

To put it simply, Obama is a screwup as President and not a leader.

“Great leaders are a very rare thing, and the man in the White House today ain’t one of them,” writes Keith Koffler in Politico.

Adds Koffler:

Obama’s failure to convey any hint of genuine emotion, to rouse the American people to turn their hearts toward the Gulf and to assure them that their world — still built on the plentiful supply of fossil fuels — is not falling apart, is a profound failure of leadership.

Instead of offering reassurance, the president is using the crisis to promote his political agenda, hankering for alternative energy and climate change legislation in Congress — though there won’t be any significant replacement of carbon-based power sources for years to come.

Writes Ahmed Moor in The Huffington Post:

It’s becoming increasingly clear that Barack Obama is the like the AIG CEO who, upon realizing his short-term bonus potential, signed off on the underwriting of what we now know were toxic asset-linked CDOs. The shareholders — you and me — are hurting. The irony is that by pursuing toxic policies, Obama is creating a state that few people should want to lead; after all, who wants to preside over the fall of Rome?

Maureen Dowd, writing in the New York Times, says Obama is a crybaby who blames others — including the media — for his failures.

“It hurts Obama to be a crybaby about it, and to blame the press and the ‘old Washington game’ for his own communication failures,” Dowd says.

Jonathan Alter, author of “The Promise,” a book about Obama’s first year in Office, told Dowd that Obama can’t take the heat of the Presidency:

On health care, Obama told single-payer liberals that they had to deal with the world as it is, not as they wanted it to be, but he doesn’t take his own advice when it comes to the media. Obama refuses to deal with the media world as it is. He’s holding out for the media world that he wants. But that will never be. That disdainful attitude toward 24-hour cable culture is slowing his political reflexes. We’re seeing that in the oil spill.

What we are also seeing is nothing less than a monumental failure in a President.

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18 Responses to Obama’s lackluster job performance: From bad to worse

  1. dtotire

    June 18, 2010 at 8:27 am

    Can’t call him great, but he’s not a failure–yet. Passing health care reform is a significant accomplishment. If there is significant improvement in the unemployment figures perceptions will change. That will take about a year.

  2. Dave

    June 18, 2010 at 11:52 am

    Hey dtotire, as Doug said in the column “Anyone who thinks the crippled health care bill passed by Congress and signed into law by Obama is “reform” is deranged and in need of serious mental health care.”

    There are some simple things that can be done to reform health care insurance costs. Based on that monstrosity of Obama and Ried’s we cannot expect Congress to actually do what’s needed.

    Some simple steps.

    http://www.davesdroppings.com/?p=642

  3. Almandine

    June 18, 2010 at 8:08 pm

    I think he’s doing just exactly as we should expect for someone whose biggest accomplishments prior to being elected were securing govt funds for handouts to community groups. I get the impression that he thinks that’s all govt is supposed to do… secure funds from those who have them and give them to those who don’t. The bad part is that now he’s bankrupted us all.

    • Keith

      June 19, 2010 at 8:49 am

      Almandine, the country was both fiscally and morally “bankrupt” LONG before Mr. Obama took office!

      I agree that Mr. Obama’s performance in office has fallen well short of his promises. But, on the other hand, we must never forget that it’s the crooks in Congress who hold the ultimate purse strings of our nation. And its CONGRESS that continues to raise the debt ceiling year after year.

      The only difference between our government being “bankrupt” and having that same charge leveled at you or me is that the government can legally print more money.

      If you or I tried that, it would be a felony.

      • woody188

        June 20, 2010 at 12:39 am

        Right, it’s the purse strings that ordered assassinations by predator drone. It’s the purse strings of Congress that allow torture to continue in the CIA and military. It’s the purse strings of Congress that increased the domestic warrant-less wiretapping. And it’s the purse strings of Congress that just used last Tuesday’s speech to the nation and one of our greatest environmental tragedies to push the carbon tax agenda.

        • Keith

          June 21, 2010 at 7:24 am

          People, NOTHING happens in our Government unless and until the Congress ALSO chooses to fund it!

          In your example, it was the Congress who funded the procurement of those drones. And they also appropriated the money for the operations and maintenance of same. The latter activity is done annually and is accomplished line item by line item. They also fund the operation of the CIA and, yes, even the FBI (who put all those illegal wiretaps in place).

          Whats more, if Congress decides to pull the funding for such activity, legally, it must all come to a screeching, grinding halt. And they have done so on numerous occasions in the past.

          What’s more, while its called the “President’s Budget”, in reality, it’s just a long “wish list” of things the President would LIKE to do. However, unless and until the Congress actually allocates and then appropriates enough money for him or her to do it all with, it remains just that…a Presidential “wish list”.

          And more than one President has been called on the carpet for spending money on things the Congress DIDN’T appropriate money for. Iran-Contra comes quickly to mind.

          The truth is that , under our constitutional form of government, it’s the CONGRESS where the REAL governing power lies because THEY (and they alone) control the purse strings. And without continuing appropriations to underwrite our “made-up” wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, they, too, would quickly come to a screeching, grinding halt.

          The bottom line here is that the President and his minions can “flap their gums” all day long in speech after speech, “pushing”, as you say, this or that “agenda”. But unless and until the Congress ALSO agrees with him and actually gives him the money to do it all with, his “agenda” goes nowhere.

  4. DejaVuAllOver

    June 19, 2010 at 1:15 am

    One of the better DT editorials I’ve read….. thanks, Doug. I think it’s even worse than that, though. I think Obama knows exactly what he’s doing and that he is a very dangerous man. I hope I’m wrong, but it ain’t pretty from where I stand. I voted for him, campaigned for him and am very sorry I did because I just can’t square his empty talk with ANY of his actions. I hope he starts keeping some of his pledges, but I’m not holding my breath.

  5. griff

    June 19, 2010 at 8:58 am

    And here I thought Bush was our all-time greatest national embarrassment. Well if it’s one thing we Americans are good at, it’s outdoing ourselves.

  6. AustinRanter - AKA Gregg

    June 19, 2010 at 11:39 am

    Adding up all of our woes, I don’t believe any seated president would be very popular right now.

    Had McCain won, I have to believe that at this point that he would be confined in a nursing home caused by rigors of horrendous stress of the job.

    Now think Palin as president. What direction would this country be moving toward economically, financially, and socially?

    In my itty bitty opinion, Obama’s largest failures started by not do exactly what he said he would address first and that was the systemic problems in Washington. In other words, “Business as usual.”

    Instead, Obama immediately pursued the business of strengthen the protection of, and placating to, special interest (you know, those who groomed him and put him in office).

    Also, Obama obviously saw the necessity of protecting the Royalty status of Washington’s hand picked elitists and to preserve the systems that sustain Royal priviledges.

    Curing our political and government systems must be dealt with like any disease. If the root causes aren’t addressed over symptoms, then the disease will become immune to poorly implemented treatments.

    The diseases ever growing in our political and government systems have increasingly become immune to their host’s discontentment and impotent threats to rid our nation of the root causes of the diseases that control our nation’s economic, financial, and social health.

  7. spud62

    June 19, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    I’m tired of opinions, I look for news, just the news. What I find is every “newspersons” opinion. Just the facts ma’am. Not your damned opinion. Make sure that you also search for the poll that suits your purpose.

  8. Lisa

    June 19, 2010 at 5:57 pm

    How do you clean up a mess that took 8 years to create in only 2 years. I welcome any solutions to the issues that being discussed. REMEMBER…If the president fails, WE ALL FAIL!.

    • woody188

      June 20, 2010 at 12:49 am

      Leave Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iran (yup, special forces are already there preparing for our invasion), close Gitmo and end institutionalized torture, stop assassinating people and everyone that just happens to be around them, end warrant-less wiretaps, decriminalize and regulate recreational drugs, quit giving money to Israel and don’t defend Israel for killing and attacking Americans in international waters, enforce our immigration laws, and follow the Constitution like you swore to God to do!

      It’s probably a shorter list to name the campaign promises kept to date. ZERO!

      • woody188

        June 20, 2010 at 12:56 am

        Or do you think he is waiting for a second term to accomplish all those campaign promises?

        The guy can’t be anything but a lying psycho path. His failure isn’t mine. I didn’t vote for him or the old man. And I warned everyone what would come if they voted for either major party. If you vote for the lesser of two evils, you still voted for evil. Maybe next time people will vote for good, but I doubt it. Too stupid and caught up in their left/right paradigm. And now we’re stuck in a fascist plutocracy that is quickly becoming a fascist military dictatorship. The writing is on the wall, will you bother to read it?

      • Guardhouse lawyer

        June 20, 2010 at 3:51 am

        Special forces in Iran?

        I do not believe you can prove this. I googled Special Forces in Iran and in the first four pages of URLs I found nothing dated since January 20, 2009 that even comes close to backing this up. I did find

        http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and…/article7136614.ece

        which says that in May of this year Petraeus “authorized” reconnaissance to find military targets. It does NOT say that there are special forces troops there. It says they are authorized to go there.

        “Teams of American special forces have been authorised to conduct spying missions intended to pave the way for a military strike on Iran in case President Obama orders one, US government sources have confirmed.

        “The military units would penetrate Iranian territory to reconnoitre potential nuclear targets and make contact with friendly dissident groups, according to a secret directive written by General David Petraeus. The document’s existence was disclosed for the first time yesterday.”

        Show us the proof that they are there, rather than just authorized to be there. If you cannot prove it retract it.

        “It’s probably a shorter list to name the campaign promises kept to date. ZERO!”

        Of course this is just plain not true.

        Politifact.org’s synopsis of Obama’s promises kept, broken, etc. shows:

        * Promise Kept 114

        * Compromise 35

        * Promise Broken 19

        * Stalled 82

        * In the Works 252

        * Not yet rated 3

        For those readers who are at all interested in the truth, please do your own research and do not rely on the unsupported (and unsupportable) sweeping statements that are all to often bandied about here at CHB.

        • griff

          June 20, 2010 at 8:03 am

          Ha. If you look at the list of promises kept, the vast majority are comparatively insignificant (to the biggies) and feature terms like expand, increase, require, and establish. Meaning, of course, that his promises to increase government spending and interference in our lives, increasing bureaucracy and feel-good “liberal” spending orgies have all been kept.

          The unkept promises don’t seem to include closing Gitmo, ending the Iraq war, and restoring Habeas Corpus, to name a few.

  9. Lisa

    June 19, 2010 at 5:58 pm

    Sorry..That are being discussed.

  10. Stratocaster

    June 20, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    Obama sold out before he ran for office. He got elected the same way as all politicians do, by telling people what they want to hear, A choice between pro-establishment Republicans and pro-establishment Democrats is the equivalent of no choice at all. The American Revolution did not free us from the King of England; we just traded him for a group of CEOs is all.

  11. spud62

    June 27, 2010 at 10:20 am

    I’m sure glad Bush is gone!