Did you ever know one of those strangers who moves into a neighborhood and becomes instantly popular? He throws parties, lends you his tools gladly, and helps the kids with the annual skate-a-thon?
Then you start to notice things about him that are bothersome. Then you find out that he is not who you thought he was, and that he really is not such a nice person. And just as his popularity rose quickly at first, it plummets just as fast.
It is called The Comet Syndrome where a person streaks across the sky like a comet then disappears.
Is this what is in store for president Obama? After all, we did not really know him very well. And he came in very popular, even though we still had questions about him.
And just as his popularity rose, could it fall just as rapidly? Is he really Jimmy Obama, like Jimmy Carter who was president from 1977 to 1981, who started out as popular as Obama and then lost in a landslide to Ronald Reagan?
It is very possible.
In a recent June 16-18 Gallup Poll Daily tracking survey, Obama’s job approval rating dropped to a low of 58%, down from 69% on February 1.
Well, that is nothing, Obama supporters say. You can never expect him to remain as popular as on Day One because people start to see the actual policies and certainly are going to disagree with some of them.
But 11 points in just 149 days is a pretty big drop considering that Obama had, and continues to have, complete and total sycophant support from virtually all the Ancient Media outlets in the nation from Newsweek magazine to the New York Times to NBC to ABC to the LA Times. Etc., etc.
Now consider that George Bush’s approval ratings at the same time in his presidency in 2001 were just a few points lower than Obama’s are. And that that rating came after the media had slimed Bush for two years. Remember the attack book that came out in 1999 alleging Bush was a cocaine abuser? So the assaults on Bush came fast and furious over an extended period. Even after he took office there still was anger being whipped up that he had “stolen” the presidency.
Yet his job approval at this point in his presidency wasn’t much lower than Obama’s. And so you start to see that Obama may have real problems that conservatives have been talking about, where his personal popularity – propped up by the media – cannot sustain his overall approval because his policies are much less popular.
Even Jimmy Carter was as popular as Obama at this point in his first term.
Here is an appraisal of the recent numbers from Gallup:
The latest decline in Obama’s approval score, to 58%, results from a drop in approval among political independents as well as among Republicans. Democrats remain as highly supportive of the president as ever.
Obama’s approval rating was 60% from June 13-15, at which time 88% of Democrats, 60% of independents, and 25% of Republicans approved of the job he was doing. In the June 16-18 polling, Democrats’ approval of him stands at 92% — up slightly — whereas approval is down among both independents (by seven points) and Republicans (by four points).
So the question is: What is really happening?
And that answer is that Peggy the Moocher may have been right, and that Americans may be slowly realizing that.
Who is Peggy the Moocher?
She is Peggy Joseph of Sarasota, Florida, who is black, and who, in a well-known YouTube clip, called Obama’s rise as “the most memorable time of my life… Because I never thought this day would ever happen. I won’t have to worry about putting gas in my car. I won’t have to worry about paying my mortgage. You know. If I help (Obama), he’s gonna help me.”
But as Ronald Reagan famously said, the scariest sentence in the English language is: “I’m from the government and I am here to help you.”
Look at how Gallup itself sees the lower Obama numbers:
It is not clear what’s behind the decline, but two issues have received considerable play in the news this week, and could be contributing factors. On Monday, the president received bad news on healthcare reform from the Congressional Budget Office, whose estimate of the cost of one reform plan caused sticker shock on Capitol Hill. This may be feeding into public concern about the administration’s deficit spending. At the same time, the disputed Iranian presidential election has been front-page news. Obama’s cautious response has sparked sharp criticism from Republican Sen. John McCain and many on the political right who are eager for him to declare the election a “fraud,” and to show more solidarity with the Iranian protestors.
Yet this is just the beginning. There are many things about Obama that have been upsetting Americans incrementally, things that seem like small incidents, but that add up over time.
Things like the bow to the Saudi king. The apologies to the Muslim world for America. The handling of the GM and Chrysler bankruptcies. The flyover of New York City by Air force One. Biden’s bumbling. The bullying tactics of the White House against private investors. The nomination of a Supreme Court justice who, as a judge, summarily discriminated against whites in one of her most famous rulings. And the huge flipflop by Obama over Guantanamo detainees, offering Americans the image of a president who is far too idealistic and perhaps not up to the job of confronting terrorism.
These are things that the media are trying to minimize, but that are showing up in public perceptions, primarily among Republicans and independents, some of whom elected Obama in the first place. All told, this combination of all these events is taking a toll.
What does the future hold for Obama?
It is hard to say. But if the present trends continue, 2010 will be a good year for Republicans because the party in power typically loses seats in the first election after taking the White House. And the economic situation is likely to stagnate or deteriorate because Obama policies are not geared to growth but to further stasis.
When the Republicans were attacking Bill Clinton for his affair with Monica Lewinsky and lying about it, the Ancient Media assured us that there would be a backlash of sympathy for Clinton. And there was a little.
Could the opposite happen now? Could the American people see Obama as being overly-coddled by the media, and, along with all the other doubts, turn on him?
Anything is possible. The next big poll will be taken in November 2010.
Please visit my website at www.nikitas3.com for more. You can print out for free my book, Right Is Right, which explains why only conservatism can maintain our freedom and prosperity.