Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Man or the Message?

"A slew of new polls suggest Obama is not a great pitchman for his policies.

Obama is not doing that great in the polls.  Has he lost his mojo, as this article suggests?  Is there something wrong with his message?  I posit a third possibility: things really suck now, so anyone in power is not going to do too well.  The economy is not recovering quickly, oil has stained our shores, the war in Afghanistan is ever more violent, and the only good news it that we can now curse again on TV.  Most, if not all of this, is out of Obama's control.  Just as Bush's popularity soared after 9/11 for doing what?  Not a whole lot.  Context matters a lot.  The good news for Liberals/Progressives/whatever is that the demographics, as I have noted before, are going towards the Democrats. 
The best news for the president and Democrats is that 62 percent of those polled say that Congress should extend unemployment benefits. Republicans have blocked legislation that would do so and the president has gone after them for it. The White House also takes comfort in the fact that the country has an even lower opinion of Republicans in Congress than they do of the president.
The party of No may seem fine in the short term, but the economic will turn around enough by 2012 that the losses in this fall's election (just as nearly every midterm election goes against the incumbent party) will be offset by the next one.  And don't count out how the Republicans are doing their very best to move so far to the right that even those who are unhappy with the economy may find their local politician to be unpalatable.

This may be wishful thinking, but, then again, Obama wasn't supposed to win the primaries against Hilary Clinton either, so don't count him out.

1 comment:

Steve Greene said...

Normally John Dickerson is a pretty smart guy. I'm surprised he didn't know better on this one. Actually, I think he even does know better, but knows it makes for much less catchy articles in Slate.