Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Obama 2014

Real Clear Politics brings us polling data on Americans' view of President Obama's performance

PollDateSampleApprove Disapprove Spread
RCP Average12/3 - 12/22--42.752.5 -9.8
CNN/Opinion Research12/18 - 12/211011 A4850 -2
Gallup12/20 - 12/221500 A4451 -7
Rasmussen Reports12/20 - 12/221500 LV4851 -3
The Economist/YouGov12/13 - 12/15698 RV4454 -10
ABC News/Wash Post12/11 - 12/14RV3957 -18
NBC News/Wall St. Jrnl12/10 - 12/141000 A4550 -5
Reuters/Ipsos12/10 - 12/142096 A3754 -17
GWU/Battleground12/7 - 12/111000 LV4350 -7
FOX News12/7 - 12/91043 RV4253 -11
Associated Press/GfK12/4 - 12/81010 A4158 -17
McClatchy/Marist12/3 - 12/9923 RV4352 -9
USA Today/Pew Research12/3 - 12/71507 A4251 -9
Bloomberg12/3 - 12/51001 A3952 -13

Recently, I would have put myself in the disapprove column, when I've been considering how many ways I've been disappointed by President Obama:  failure to address the crimes of the Bush administration, failure to push for a stronger stimulus to bring more people back in to the  work force (and giving college graduates the opportunity to start their careers), giving in to the counterproductive deficit reduction mania and supporting the damaging sequester, nominating Wall Street hacks to important policy positions....  I have a long list of disappointments..  

(Some believe that disapproval of the president's performance translates into support for the Republican Party.  No sir!  Mr. Obama may have disappointed me, but at least he hasn't been crazy damaging like the Republican Party has been and wants to be.)

And now Andrew Sullivan comes along to help restore some sense of proportion:
There has long been a pattern to Barack Obama’s political career on the national stage. There are moments of soaring moral clarity and inspiration; there are long periods of drift or laziness or passivity; and there are often very good fourth quarters. The 2008 campaign was an almost perfect coda: the sudden initial breakout, then a strange listlessness as he allowed the Clintons to come back in New Hampshire, turning the race into a long and grueling battle for delegates, then a final denouement when he made up with the Clintons and stormed into the White House. Or think of healthcare reform: a clear early gamble, followed by a truly languorous and protracted period of negotiation and posturing, and then a breakthrough. Or marriage equality: an excruciating period of ambivalence followed by a revolution. On climate: a failed cap and trade bill … followed by real tough fuel emissions standards, new carbon rules from the EPA and an agreement with China.
 When he was elected, I had hoped Mr. Obama would prove to be one of our great presidents like Lincoln and FDR.  I guess I have to settle for pretty good.

Update 12/24/2014      Yglesias weighs in as well
Update  1/12/2015        So does Chait
Update  6/4/2015        David Axelrod on Obama's thinking (after a classic Jon Stewart takedown of RWNJs):
I'll never forget, he said, "Look, I get all that [the many failures of previous administrations to pass universal health care, and the political minefield it would be to take it on], but what are we supposed to do, sit here for eight years, put our approval rating in the shelf, and just admire it?  Or are we going to draw it down and try to do some things that mean something." and he said. "If we don't do it now, we'll never get it done."

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