Can Eisenhower Form a Government?
He's Learning, and He Keeps His Popular Support
Hardly anyone still likes Ike, except the voters. For what they’re worth the public opinion polls all insist that Dwight D. Eisenhower is even more popular right now than he was on Election Day. On May 20, George Gallup reported that 74 per cent of the men and women his pollsters had questioned approved of the President; two weeks later, on June 3, he went further: only 16 per cent had any criticism to make of anything the President had done. That anyone could have attained such perfection in the minds of the voters may sound incredible; yet on Capitol Hill, Republicans and Democrats alike believe that Dr. Gallup’s figures are probably right; many Democrats, in fact, are seriously considering the possibility of running for reelection next year with the slogan: “Ike needs more Democrats in Congress to carry out his program.”
Mr. Eisenhower’s popularity is all the more astonishing because among the politically minded—and especially in Washington—the Eisenhower administration generally is considered a bitter joke. The cries of disaster echo down the corridors of the Capitol, the Pentagon, the State Department—almost everywhere one goes, except of course the White House. Washington correspondents usually are fence-sitters on principle; holding a strong opinion is a luxury that few feel they can afford, since they must stay on friendly terms with everyone. Yet the National Press Club bar, where the correspondents congregate, has now become a wailing wall. If the overwhelming majority of the voters approve of the Eisenhower administration, the overwhelming majority of the men who write the stories and newscasts on which the voters base their views disapprove. One of the most widely syndicated of the Washington columnists customarily refers to Mr. Eisenhower himself as “that pot of military mush.”
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