Politico.com has published a story whose title says it all: “The Incredible Shrinking Obama.”
It cites recent polls which, according to reporters Glenn Thrush and Carrie Budoff Brown, told “the same sorry tale – the avatar of hope and change, the slayer of Osama bin Laden, the president with dreams of a billion-dollar reelection campaign – is losing popular support and bleeding political power 15 months ahead of Election Day.” And that’s more or less the positive part of the story for the president.
Thrush and Brown go on to write, “To critics and allies alike, the fact that the president of the United States has to tiptoe around Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees for the privilege of delivering a plan for putting Americans back to work is a measure of just how far he’s been humbled by an unforgiving economy, unyielding GOP and an unnerved, underemployed nation.”
Andy Stern, former president of the powerful Service Employees International Union, is quoted as saying this about Obama: “He has sort of lost the sense of power and mystique of the presidency. There’s also a sense that people aren’t scared of him. That’s very dangerous.” And one top Democratic ally of Obama complained, “He’s allowed the Congress to manhandle him. Every time he’s put his foot down they’ve kicked him in the shin. It’s god**** embarrassing. He’s losing power. He needs to grab it back.”
That’s easier said than done.
It didn’t take a political genius to see months and months ago – well before the 2010 mid-term elections, in fact – the gathering storm clouds on the horizon. Some of us even wrote about it at the time. But many in the political class were late to realize just how vulnerable and beatable Obama is, in part because they viewed him as far more formidable and impressive than he’s turned out to be. But that’s all gone with the wind. Obama has been unmasked. He cannot escape his awful record. And these days it’s not only Republicans and independents who are turning on the president; so is his own party, his own allies, and probably even some of his own people.
It’s almost enough to make you feel sorry for the man. Almost.