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Do Democrats not like President Obama?

Finding “a lot of 1980 in the 2012 presidential election,” Peggy Noonan opined on Friday that

The incumbent looks smaller than previous sitting presidents, as did Jimmy Carter. His efforts in the Oval Office have not been generally understood as successful. There’s a broad sense it hasn’t worked. And Democrats don’t like him, as they didn’t Jimmy Carter.

This continues as one of the most amazing and underappreciated facts of 2012—the sitting president’s own party doesn’t like him. The party’s constituent pieces will stick with him, having no choice, but with a feeling of dissatisfaction. It is not only the Republicans who have been unhappy this year. All this will have some bearing on the coming year.

Anecdotal evidence suggests some truth to this assertion.  Like the Athena of punditry, I live in a very blue island and find many of the incumbent’s erstwhile supporters less than satisfied with his performance in office, with one Democratic friend dubbing his party’s standard bearer a “failure.”  Seems Noonan has had heard similar complaints.

We see this in polls showing Democrats dispirited about voting in 2012.   A December 14 poll showed Republicans far more enthusiastic than Democrats.  Yet, Obama’s approval remains strong among Democrats.  Perhaps that approval is only lukewarm?  Or reflects his recent battle with House Republicans over the payroll tax rate?

Whatever the case, there do seem to be many dispirited Democrats in blue enclaves.  So, what’s your view?  Is Peggy right?  Do you have a sense from talking to your Democrat friends that they don’t make care for the incumbent President of the United States?

A (Yellow) Feather in Mitt Romney’s Cap

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 5:28 pm - January 2, 2012.
Filed under: 2012 Presidential Election,Real Reform

Although he has been occasionally replaced, Mitt Romeny still maintains his frontrunner status in the contest for the Republican presidential nomination.  And yet a certain segment of the conservative electorate remains skeptical of the former Massachusetts governor’s commitment to cutting spending.  Well, here’s one piece of evidence that he plans to go after politically popular programs:

Mitt Romney spoke about cutting public funding for PBS during a campaign rally in Clinton, Iowa [on December 28], suggesting that he would “even cut programs that we like.”

“We’re not going to kill Big Bird,” he said, “But Big Bird’s going to have advertisements.”

Romney was alluding to the popular liberal outcry every time Republicans try to cut spending for public broadcasting.

Even though a variety of networks provide programming similar to the various offerings on the government-subisidized enterprise, liberals do wring their hands and reach for smelling salts every time fiscally responsible legislators attempt to cut funding for PBS.

Mitt Romney’s right.  Big Bird can remain on the air in the same way other characters created for kids do:  by seeking out sponsors.  If they don’t like that means of funding their programming, they can reach out to their viewers and ask them to pony up a little extra cash.

Simply put, you can’t take anyone who claims to be a fiscal conservative seriously unless he is willing to cut federal funding for PBS and NPR.  Mitt Romney is willing to do that.  For saying he would cut such funding, he deserves a feather in his cap.  And in this case, let’s make it a yellow one.

Not many reasons to vote for Obama this time around

In a front page article yesterday, Mark L. Andler of the New York Times reported that

President Obama is heading into his re-election campaign with plans to step up his offensive against an unpopular Congress, concluding that he cannot pass any major legislation in 2012 because of Republican hostility toward his agenda.

Andler fails to report that Republicans won a majority in the House while picking up six seats in the Senate (and coming close to winning two more) because of popular hostility toward Obama’s agenda.  That said, the article is reasonably fair.  (Do wonder if the paper would so accurately report the campaign plan of a Republican incumbent — or candidate.)

Indeed, Andler acknowledges the risks of “Mr. Obama’s confrontational approach” and takes note of something conservative bloggers (and pundits) have been highlighting since the early days of this administration:

However the White House chooses to frame Mr. Obama’s strategy, it amounts to a wholesale makeover of the young senator who won the presidency in 2008 by promising to change the culture of Washington, rise above the partisan fray and seek compromises.

Emphasis added.  Of course, Mr. Andler’s paper didn’t report the Democratic Party and legacy media’s wholesale makeover of the left-wing activist/politician into a post-partisan new kind of leader.  In short, the Democrat will attempt to win reelection through the politics of division, by attacking his ideological adversaries.

This represents another risk for the man who ran, in 2008, on the upbeat themes of hope and change.  As As Salena Zito observed in studying Obama’s faltering support in Iowa:

Yet with guys like Allen Anthony [a "furloughed employee at a "green' technology firm where Obama once spoke], Barack Obama still lacks a persuasive reason for them to turn out and vote for him.

Emphasis added.  Via Instapundit.