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OBAMA RIDES ON January 17, 2011

Posted by wmmbb in US Politics.

What is to be made of the Obama presidency? The polls seem to indicate that he has some favor from the public following the mid-term elections.

Jon Terbush at Talking Points Memo reports:

Immediately following the Democrats’ midterm disaster, there was much talk about whether Obama was toast, doomed to dwindling approval numbers en route to a one-term presidency. The punditry was also abuzz with speculation that Obama was so weakened by the defeat that a liberal candidate could emerge and challenge him to a spirited primary contest in 2012.

That speculation, it’s now clear, was premature.

In a Quinnipiac poll released this week, 48% of respondents said they approved of Obama’s job performance, while 44% disapproved, the first time in approximately one year that the president posted a net positive rating in that poll. It also came two months after Obama’s worst ever showing in the Quinnipiac poll, when 44% of respondents approved of the job he was doing, compared to 49% who disapproved.

Similarly, the latest Marist poll found that 48% of Americans approve of Obama’s job performance, while 43% disapprove. That’s a stunning 13-point swing in net approval from December, when Obama posted a record low 42% approval rating and a 50% disapproval rating.

The trend is clear in other polls as well . . .

One month of improved approval numbers is not necessarily indicative of a reversal of fortune for the President, especially as he prepares to govern for the first time with a Republican controlled House. Yet they do show that recent reports of the President’s political demise were greatly exaggerated.

It is clear that the progress of the Afghanistan War, and the continued murder of civilians by drone attacks, does not seem to register with public opinion, nor the cost of the wars and the opportunity cost for the economy that entails. It is fairly clear that Obama is not a president that will take on vested interests or be committed to social and economic change. His element, and his personality, seem best suited to seizing the symbolic moments without substance. An unfair critic might describe his presidency as leadership without vision, but perhaps not:

Via Truthdig



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