Commentary Magazine


Contentions

Why Obama’s Leadership Poll Numbers Are So Terrible

The eye-opening poll of the week comes from Gallup, which shows Barack Obama with the worst numbers of his presidency when it comes to “leadership.” Only 52 percent of Americans describe him as a “strong and decisive leader,” compared to 47 percent who say he’s not. That may not sound bad, but this is how Gallup puts it: “Americans have grown increasingly less likely to view President Obama as a strong and decisive leader since he took office. Roughly half now believe this aptly describes him compared with 60% a year ago and 73% in April 2009.”

This is especially striking because it comes at a moment when one would have expected a “rally round the flag” feeling in the body politic due to the fact that the United States has undertaken a new military effort. Even when Americans are unhappy about American involvement abroad—as they were, for example, when Ronald Reagan sought the overthrow of the Communist regime in Nicaragua—they usually recognize that a president’s decision to commit forces and spend political capital on something controversial marks him as a leader to be reckoned with.

But that has not happened here, and the reason is simple: Obama undertook the Libya mission with the bizarre promise to the American people and the world that he and we would not be leading it, even though we were. The day he decided to act, he said we were doing so at the behest of the United Nations. Hillary Clinton said it was France and Britain who talked us into it. And he went ten days without offering a comprehensive explanation of what we were doing in Libya. The Gallup poll was done before the president’s speech, but it’s unlikely to change anyone’s mind in this regard since it seemed in part designed to reassure people that NATO was taking charge and that our task in Libya was largely completed.

Who would think such a leader was a strong leader when he is practically shouting from the rafters that he doesn’t want to be a strong leader?



Join the discussion…

Are you a subscriber? Log in to comment »

Not a subscriber? Join the discussion today, subscribe to Commentary »





Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor to our site, you are allowed 8 free articles this month.
This is your first of 8 free articles.

If you are already a digital subscriber, log in here »

Print subscriber? For free access to the website and iPad, register here »

To subscribe, click here to see our subscription offers »

Please note this is an advertisement skip this ad
Clearly, you have a passion for ideas.
Subscribe today for unlimited digital access to the publication that shapes the minds of the people who shape our world.
Get for just
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor, you are allowed 8 free articles.
This is your first article.
You have read of 8 free articles this month.
YOU HAVE READ 8 OF 8
FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
for full access to
CommentaryMagazine.com
INCLUDES FULL ACCESS TO:
Digital subscriber?
Print subscriber? Get free access »
Call to subscribe: 1-800-829-6270
You can also subscribe
on your computer at
CommentaryMagazine.com.
LOG IN WITH YOUR
COMMENTARY MAGAZINE ID
Don't have a CommentaryMagazine.com log in?
CREATE A COMMENTARY
LOG IN ID
Enter you email address and password below. A confirmation email will be sent to the email address that you provide.