According to the “Gallup Daily tracking three-day average,
41% of Americans approving of the job Barack Obama is doing as president. That ties his low as president, which he registered three times previously — twice in August 2010 and once in October 2010.
The current 41% approval rating from April 12-14 polling includes interviews conducted before and after Obama announced his plan for deficit reduction on Wednesday. It also comes in the same week Congress is voting on the 2011 budget deal reached last Friday. The deal did not seem to have an immediate effect on the way Americans viewed Obama, given his 44% approval rating in the three days prior to the agreement and his 46% rating in the initial days after the agreement.
The president has also lost considerable support among independents, only 35% of whom approve of him, “nine points off his average from independents this year.”
Perhaps they’re turning because the speech because most people expected a conciliatory gesture after Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, introduced a serious plan to rein in federal spending. They may well have been expecting that he the president would acknowledge Ryan’s efforts, praise him on his commitment to reducing the deficits and then offered his plan, explaining why it was the better alternative.
Ryan himself certainly expected the speech would be “a call for common ground on deficit reduction”, but found instead as Allahpundit puts it, “that it was a campaign stemwinder aimed at ambushing him and the GOP.” Obama, the blogger opines further, “elected as a healing force of post-partisan pragmatism, is willing to turn into Godzilla when there’s an electoral opportunity in front of him.”
Peggy Noonan, once supportive of Obama, thought the speech showed that the president to be an out-of-touch executive:
His speech this week brought together all the strands of his flawed leadership. It was at moments clever, but merely clever, not up to the needs of the moment—and cleverness in a time of crisis comes as an affront. The speech seemed oblivious to recent history, as if the president had just discovered something no one knows about, a problem with spending, and has decided to alert us to the danger. He said other politicians attempt to cut by focusing on “waste and abuse,” but he knows the real secret: The problem is entitlement spending. But addressing entitlements is all anyone serious has been talking about for years; it’s what the Ryan plan is all about!
The speech was intellectually incoherent. An administration that spent two years saying, essentially, that high spending is good is suddenly insisting high spending is catastrophic. The president appealed for bipartisan efforts but his manner and approach leave his appeals sounding like diktats. His attempts to seem above the fray leave him seeming distanced and unwilling to risk anything.
Most important, the speech signaled that the White House, after all this time, sees the question of spending as a partisan tool, a weapon to be deployed in an election, and not an actual crisis. This is disrespectful toward citizens who feel honest alarm.
She too thinks the president is gearing more for the upcoming presidential than for the current round of budget negotiations. Read the whole thing.
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