Obama's numbers jump?
By Sam Foster
Well the media sure is excited to see Obama's numbers jump up for the first time in his Presidency. But, before anyone pops the reelection champagne cork, Obama's recent highs put him in company with Presidents who were not reelected to a second term.
Heading into the president's crucial 2011 State of the Union address next Tuesday evening, Gallup finds that Obama's second-year job approval averaged only 46.7%.
That really looks pathetic when compared to his predecessor, George W. Bush's second-year average job approval of 71.3%. Or to the next highest second-year postwar job approval of 66.8% held by -- oh, look! -- another president named Bush. Of course, both of them were Republicans.
Even Richard "I Am Not a Crook" Nixon had a majority 56.2% approval after two years.
But don't forget that fellow Democrat Jimmy Carter also had a miserable second-year job approval of 45.3%. And he fought back from that basement approval to win a resounding second term. Oh, no. wait. He didn't. He got crushed in 1980, even with a third-party candidate.
Anyway, despite Congress, the current Democrat in the Oval Office still has 655 days to right the SS Job Approval. Bill Clinton (45.9%) and Ronald Reagan (43.3%) pulled it off for second terms, though both of them had been experienced governors, not untested legislators.
According to Gallup, Obama is on the high end of approval declines from first to second years (a slide of 10.5 points), behind only Carter (down 16.6 points) and Reagan (down 13.8 points).
Andrew Malcolm goes on to point out that while the first two year averages put Obama in serious danger, it's his third year approval that makes the difference.
Progressive hopes are high now for Obama now that he has a new team in place, but a leopard doesn't change his spots. The difference between Obama and Clinton is that Clinton was a progressive with qualities that redeemed him among the people. One such quality was the ability to lead and connect with people. Obama has neither.