Apparently It Wasn’t Over When the Germans Bombed Pearl Harbor
“Internationally, we’ve gone through a Teutonic shift in the Middle East that could have enormous ramifications for years to come.”–President Obama, May 10, quoted by USA Today, which reports the White House says he meant “tectonic.”
With the exception of an AP poll heavily skewed toward the Democrats, few polls have showed the president with a significant bounce for the greatest accomplishment of his term, the dispatch of Osama bin Laden. While Barbara Walters and Joy Behar may see this operation as heralding Obama’s reelection, most sober-minded pundits understand that his task will not be so easy.
Perhaps, the president would have enjoyed a bigger bounce if the war on terror topped the items on our agenda. As Ace, in his own inimitable way, puts it:
It’s also a fact of life that terrorism and foreign policy are not tip-top issues for most voters anymore, not like they were from 2001-2005. That’s how Democrats got into office in the first place– by downplaying such issues, and the public agreeing that they should be downplayed. The public isn’t going to suddenly make these issues of 2001-2005 potency just because Captain Bullshit reverses his previous position and now declares we should vote exclusively on terrorism.
“The main event,” Ace adds, “is the economy, and that’s not going to change.” Read the whole thing. Looking at the economic numbers, Peter Wehner contends that Obama will be “The Easiest Incumbent to Beat since 1980“:
We are now in the fifth month of Barack Obama’s third year in office. Unemployment is at 9.0 percent. We’re about 7 million jobs short of where things stood when Obama took office. Economic growth in the first quarter was 1.8 percent. Housing prices have fallen for 57 consecutive months. Only one in three Americans approve of the way Obama is handling the economy, the lowest point since he took office, and nearly eight in 10 American are less optimistic about the economy than they were a few months ago.
Indeed, even the most recent NBC/WSJ poll which also skews Democratic shows that “Only 37 percent approve of the president’s handling of the economy, while 58 percent disapprove.“
In an AP poll in which, as Jim Geraghty notes, “46 percent identify as Democrat or leaning Democrat, 29 percent identify as Republican or leaning Republican . . . [,] George W. Bush is at 50 percent approval, 49 percent disapproval“.
Wonder what those numbers would look like if we used Gallup’s recent numbers which show near perfect parity between the parties:
In 2010, 45% of Americans identified as Democrats or said they were independent but leaned toward the Democratic Party, while 44% identified as Republicans or said they were independent but leaned Republican. The 1-point Democratic advantage is the party’s smallest since 2003, when the parties were even, and represents a sharp decline from the record 12-point Democratic advantage in 2008.
So, AP used party ID gap even higher, let me repeat, even higher than Democrats’ record advantage and still found W had 50% approval.
UPDATE: ”Imagine,” NiceDeb quips, “how Bush would do in a fairly sampled poll.“
We’re just over 18 months away form the 2012 presidential election and yet we have some pundits wringing their hands over Republican dissatisfaction about their current field and others speculating about how the race will play out. Meanwhile, we keep hearing that the incumbent president whose two greatest domestic achievements have either failed to live up to promise (the “so-called stimulus”) or failed to win favor with the American people (health care overhaul) is practically a shoo-in for reelection despite middling poll numbers (even after the dispatch of Osama bin Laden).
With some pundits hyperventilating about the race as if the political conventions had already taken place and people were focusing on the contest, Michael Barone (once again) offers a dose of common sense:
In two Washington Post articles this morning Mitt Romney is referred to as the front-runner in the race for the Republican nomination. Why? On what basis?
The first article, headlined “Romney has eye on one prize right now: money,” Dan Eggen and T. W. Farnam refer to Romney as “the presumed front-runner.” In a second article on page A4, headlined “Romney to confront his critics in a speech on health care,” Karen Tumulty more cautiously writes that Romney “is seen as a possible front-runner for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination?”
Presumed by whom? Seen by whom?
Read the whole thing. Look, we’re not going to know until October (at the earliest) what the make-up of the GOP field will be. If the economy doesn’t pick up and the clamor for change increases, some Republicans currently on the sidelines may jump into the game.
It’s way too early to deem any candidate the frontrunner when we don’t even know who all will be his rivals for the Republican nomination.
. . . ever taunt his domestic political adversaries in such mocking terms:
In search of Hispanic votes and a long-shot immigration overhaul, President Barack Obama on Tuesday stood at the U.S.-Mexico border for the first time since winning the White House and declared it more secure than ever. He mocked Republican lawmakers for blocking immigration over border security alone, saying they won’t be happy until they get a moat with alligators along the border.
Emphasis added. He sounds more like a blogger attempting to be witty than a president attempting to lead.