By: Andrew Malcolm
What was just a suspicion this spring has now become a clear national trend, confirmed by a series of new polling numbers:
Americans’ faith in Barack Obama’s basic competence as president and commander-in-chief is crumbling beneath the weight of accumulating scandals, inept images and overseas crises in which Obama often seems surprised, unprepared, hesitant to act and easily out-maneuvered.
Additionally, the alleged economic recovery, the worst in more than a half-century, remains stalled on the fourth anniversary of Obama’s much-heralded Recovery Summer of 2010.
As the American military’s hard-won Iraq war gains appear endangered by renewed sectarian fighting of barbaric proportions, a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News Poll out today finds the country’s approval of the Democrat’s foreign policy efforts has sunk to its lowest level ever, just 37%.
Obama’s overall job approval, which had begun a slow recovery from its historic nadir of 41%, has slid back down to its lowest point ever.
Nearly two-out-of-three Americans say the country is on the wrong track. The RealClearPolitics average of such surveys finds 64% wrong track and 29% right track under Obama.
A convincing majority of Americans (54%) believes Obama is unable “to lead the country and get the job done.” Forty-two percent still think he can. But 41% now say his performance has worsened in the past year, compared to a paltry 15% who think it has improved.
Worse for Obama and his party, the erosion of support for him, his goals and cool, detached style has now spread from the crucial independent bloc of voters to key elements of Democrats’ political base, young people and Hispanics.
The share of Hispanics who view Obama favorably and approve of his job has plummeted from 67% early last year to 44% this past week.
“He’s losing the political debate,” says Democrat pollster Peter Hart, “because (people) don’t see him as a leader.”
“I don’t want to pit red America against blue America,” Obama professed in November 2007. “I want to be the President of the United States of America.”
Of course, no one ever accused this president of humility. While thousands of Iraqis were beheaded, crucified and machine-gunned in mass executions in recent days, Obama and wife Michelle took a long getaway weekend to sunny southern California.
There, a detached or disconnected Obama ignored the bloody foreign news dominating TV’s across the country and exhorted college grads to do something about global warming. He sounded upbeat to Democrat donors at a Newport Beach fundraiser despite the ominous political clouds gathering for the Nov. 4 midterm elections. And, of course, Obama got in plenty of golf.
Shutterstock.com (One lame duck)
On his return to Washington, Obama dispatched 275 reinforcements to help guard the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad as the radical Islamist forces closed on the capital.
Tuesday Obama was back at the political money-raking, speaking at not one, not two, but three evening party fundraisers where Manhattan liberals paid up to $32,400 each to hear such immortal lines as: “We’ve got to keep fighting.”
Another poll in recent days found Obama taking flak for his unilateral trade of five Taliban terrorist leaders for a captured American soldier. USA Today found 43% of Americans think the president was wrong to make the deal, while 34% approved.
But by a two-to-one margin Americans believe the president should have consulted with Congress as required by a law Obama signed last December, but chose to ignore now.
Early on, the Pew Research Center found impressive belief among Americans that Obama “is able to get things done.” In Obama’s first month in office 70% of his countrymen said that phrase applied to him. Five years later only 43% did.
The administration’s lack of preparation and response readiness for the 9/11 Benghazi attack in 2012. Obama’s professed ignorance of the IRS harassment of conservative political groups, which the president’s lawyer knew about.
The totally botched roll-out of the ObamaCare website, which Obama claimed to be unaware of even days later. Shoddy, tardy medical treatment of veterans at VA hospitals, which Obama ran against in 2008 but now claimed to be unaware of. White House surprise about the outrage over releasing Taliban leaders.
These, among others, have combined to mold a solidifying image of incompetence. That needn’t bother Obama, who’ll never face voters again.
But his party mates will in just 139 days.
Even without scandals, ongoing economic pain and foreign bungling, historic patterns show a president’s party suffers congressional losses in a second term’s midterms. The GOP already controls the House and a pickup of only six seats gives the party Senate control.
To the extent the scent of her four years of close, loyal association with Obama endures approaching 2016, the growing shadows of his incompetence bode ill for the presidential ambitions of what’s-her-name with the new book.
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