Commentary Magazine


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Obama’s Slide Continues

Obama’s poll numbers are worsening — rather significantly. In the RealClearPolitics poll average, his approval is at a new low — 45% — and his disapproval at a new high — 49.7%. (With a slightly different mix of surveys, Pollster.com tells the same story and has Obama’s disapproval just over 50%.) Was it something he did?

Well, the Gulf oil spill debacle is subsiding (bonus points for those who thought the “worst environmental crisis ever” wasn’t). Congress passed the “stick it to Wall Street” financial-reform bill. And yet the president’s poll numbers continue to tumble. It seems as though neither was a significant factor in the public’s opinion of his performance. What is significant is the economy, which the headlines warn us is not rebounding as promised. Obama insists, however, that things are looking up — cementing voters’ sense that he is divorced from reality.

It seems that voters’ impression of Obama is hardening and increasingly negative. They have long since tuned out his spin and remain anxious if not angry about the economy. With his hyper-partisanship and personal aloofness, Obama has sacrificed a personal connection with the public, which now refuses to give him and his spin squad the benefit of the doubt.

Meanwhile, the culture of corruption — the Joe Sestak and Andrew Romanoff job deals, Charlie Rangel and now Maxine Waters — is on full display, evidence that Obama has failed to change the ethical environment inside the Beltway. The combination of sleeziness, incompetence, and fiscal irresponsibility is deadly — just ask the Republicans who lost their seats in 2006.

In sum, Obama and his party are heading for an electoral thumping. The blame game on the left will be vicious. The only questions that remain are the extent of the damage Obama has inflicted on his party and whether he is capable of rescuing the remainder of his presidency.