I'm a glass is half-full kind of gal…and I like Obama. He strikes me as smart, sincere and reasonable. So I want to give him some good news. I want to, I really do want to, but I can’t. According to a Harris Poll released last week:
- His approval ratings are dismal. Almost 6 in 10 Americans rate his job performance negatively including 30% of his own party and 91% (!) of Republicans.
- His approval ratings haven’t received even a small bounce since the passage of health care reform (the focus of most or all of his energy over the past many months).
- And 61% of Americans still think the country is on the wrong track – more than at any point during W’s first term.
But, consider this, all you with the half-empty glasses: Obama’s approval ratings aren’t getting worse. In fact, they have pretty much remained unchanged for the past four months after rolling slowly down hill for the six months prior.
So, I may be reaching here but you can’t build Rome or tame a wildebeest or move a glacier (or insert own metaphor) in a day. So, perhaps Obama is poised to make a come back.
- He has finally tackled health care (the #1 issue the public wanted him to address for the first year+ of his presidency) and perhaps the public will feel the impact of this reform just in time for the election.
- He can now focus on the public’s pre-eminent frustration with employment and the economy. And perhaps if he does some good work here, then he (and other Democratic legislators) will feel some sort of positive bounce.
- And he has received a similar vote of confidence as Clinton did during his first term (when at least as many - if not more - Americans thought the country was moving in the wrong direction and then changed to a more optimistic tune on this measure during his second term).
So, let’s take it one performance approval rating at a time.