A new Gallup poll finds President Obama’s approval rating at 39 percent and his disapproval rating at 54 percent. But it’s not just that the public is increasingly displeased with the job Mr. Obama is doing; they are growing weary of the whole packaged deal. They are frustrated with the president, his style, his attitude, his approach to the job.
The Boston Herald reports:
President Obama’s tanking approval rating in newly released polls shows Americans are tired of his whining, according to some experts, who also see a fighting chance for Republicans to rack up coast-to-coast victories in the 2014 midterm congressional races.
“We think of presidents as being morale leaders … and he goes out and complains,” according to Richard Benedetto, a retired White House correspondent and a journalism professor at American University. “He complains about the fact that he doesn’t get enough cooperation from the other side. ‘It’s not my fault, it’s the Republicans’ fault.’ And that message gets old for the American public. … It’s not a good sign for Democrats in Congress going into next year.”
No, it’s not. And here’s one of the many challenges facing Mr. Obama: Can he alter the patterns of a presidency? I ask because the president is a chronic whiner, a habitual complainer and excuse-maker. He relied on blame shifting for his entire first term, and I suspect it’s not merely a tactic for Obama. It is how he’s been conditioned, how he views the world and his place in it. He believes deep in his bones that every setback he encounters is due to outside forces. And so he has laid the blame for his failures on his predecessor, the congressional GOP, the Tea Party, conservative talk radio hosts, millionaires and billionaires, Wall Street, Japanese tsunamis, the Arab Spring, Fox News, and more. Those excuses no longer work–and because they don’t, one of the main political arrows has been removed from the Obama quiver.
It’ll be interesting to see if Mr. Obama is emotionally able to adjust to this new situation. My guess is he’ll try the same lines of attack–including portraying himself again and again as the only adult in a room of unruly children–even as most Americans believe his act has grown old and stale. And as the failures of the Obama presidency continue to multiply and his record of incompetence becomes even more indisputable, will Mr. Obama become more aggrieved, more prickly, and more detached from reality? The new year will go some distance toward answering whether you can teach a hubristic president new tricks. This much we know: the old ones have become tedious and monotonous.