The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008


The Rundown

Is 'Smooth Sailing' Over for Obama?

By Ben Pershing
President Obama's No. 1 priority for his first term, health care reform, has gotten off to a halting start in the Senate. His next major goal, climate change legislation, is even further from completion. And there's little indication that the major financial regulatory overhaul the president unveiled yesterday is anywhere near reaching his desk. With those initiatives and others pending, is Obama's window for major legislative action beginning to close?

That's the question raised by a pair of new surveys, both of which show overall support for Obama's policies slippling. The latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found small but measurable drops in Obama's approval rating and his handling of the economy. "These rising doubts threaten to overshadow the president's personal popularity and his agenda, in what may be a new phase of the Obama presidency," the Journal suggests in its dramatic write-up of the poll, while MSNBC quotes pollster Peter Hart saying: "There is no more smooth sailing for the administration. They are going to have to navigate in pretty choppy waters."

The New York Times/CBS News poll reached similar conclusions, finding that the public is increasingly concerned about the budget deficit and that fewer than half of respondents approve of Obama's handling of health care and the auto industry. So is Obama's presidency really slipping away? The situation doesn't appear quite that dire. The NYT/CBS poll still puts Obama's approval rating at 63 percent, and his overall poll average has barely budged in two months. Also on the bright side for the White House: The WSJ/NBC survey found just "25 percent hold a favorable view of the Republican Party, which is an all-time low for it in the poll." So even if the public is wary of Obama's policies, it isn't exactly rushing out to embrace the opposition.

Continue reading at Political Browser »

Posted at 8:31 AM ET on Jun 18, 2009  | Category:  The Rundown
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If Obama gets the country public health care all the slings and arrows will be well worth the result. If the corporations win this time, America will end up the worst of all industrialized nations in how it treats it's citizens.
That is, except for that beacon of human rights known as China.

Posted by: seemstome | June 19, 2009 9:02 PM

The Democratic Part and Obama are endangering the future of the country. They have thrown Democracy out the window. Not good enough for them, they have all the answers. This dictatorship will be gone in a few years and we will have the debt it created. Nothing they do is working! These are crucial days in our lives.
Read the attached link and register to vote it up or comment.

Posted by: lclifton | June 18, 2009 3:25 PM

We now see just how large and wide reaching the extent of the permanent damage BUSH did to the US and World economies. Don't blame Obama, he's just trying to fix the huge mess of years of BUSH deficits, debt, corruption, deregulation, neglect and greed. The one thing I would like to see Obama do more than anything else is get Americans BACK TO WORK. Jobs, that is the one answer to solving the most of our problems. When Americans are working, everyone prospers, everything is paid for, everything gets fixed. With no jobs no money is being made or spent and this effects everything.

Posted by: Hillary08 | June 18, 2009 2:07 PM

As for the the phrase "the Obama flacks are all over the Post's site with complimentary stuff," you are wrong again! Stop calling us "flacks." How about calling us what we really are -- former Republicans.

That is the irony. My former party just does not get it. When someone who has been a Republican for decades can no longer tolerate the games of people who profess to be Republicans, it should tell the minority party that they are indeed in trouble. We thought we had rid ourselves of incompetents when we elected Obama, but a few tag-alongs remain. Their actions dig deeper the hole in which Republicans have found themselves.

Posted by: Formerrepublican | June 18, 2009 1:23 PM

It is frightening to read the comments here. Brain dead Obama fans repeating the litany like good catholics and weirdos spouting nonsense.

Obama's numbers are going down as he moves from lofty speaches to taking action thereby making the economic situation his own presidential responsibility.

We all share responsibility for the situation we are in and it took much longer than 8 years to make the bed we now must sleep in.

Good night and good luck America.

Posted by: sally62 | June 18, 2009 1:22 PM

Republicans have nearly destroyed America since the cowboy-false-prophet-messiah Ronnie talked them into attacking their own government, and rendering it helpless against the avarice of the entitled rich.

Now they want to used the demonic demented chorus of their loud mouthed brainless reactionary base to finish the job.

Don't be fooled. Stand up to these self centered misinforming clowns.

If you still believe the republicans your either a greedy crook, or an unteachable fool.

Posted by: rooster54 | June 18, 2009 1:12 PM



"When you see the abuse of power, you've got to speak."

-- VP candidate Joseph Biden, Aug. 27, 2008, Democratic National Convention


Bush-Cheney human and civil rights abuses continue...





And federal citizen volunteer programs fund the "community gang stalkers" who are terrorizing their neighbors as police look the other way...

...harassing, vandalizing, destroying their livelihoods as their health is degraded by widely-deployed microwave radiation ("directed energy") weapons -- the long-anticipated (and feared) weaponization of the electromagnetic spectrum.

And Congress and the mainstream media are largely unaware.

A parallel array of federal "programs of personal financial destruction" slowly decimate the family finances of "target" families -- surely a factor in the mortgage meltdown that precipitated the global financial crisis.

And Congress and the mainstream media are largely unaware.

When victims complain, they are told there is "nothing to investigate."

True -- because authorities KNOW ALL ABOUT this secretive security/military/intel "multi-agency coordinated action program."

Will Congress, the national press corps, and Team Obama wake up and realize that democracy and human rights are being stolen at the GRASSROOTS?

OR (if links are corrupted / disabled):

Posted by: scrivener50 | June 18, 2009 12:28 PM

When was it EVER smooth sailing?? He's been fighting the GOP's f-ckery from even before he took office and been trying to fix GWB's and their mess since he did.

Posted by: StellasKid | June 18, 2009 12:24 PM

I am certainly surprised that the 'sailing' lasted this long. Those with the long daggers to obstruct him in everyway possible, are just getting really started.

But the President, fully understands what he's up against. And for those who supported him, the 'lead time' to manage and bring some 'sanity back' into government, continues.
Enuf of the polls for now!

He cannot govern by them, he's smart, and despite rumblings even from some strange places in Congress-- the people are behind him. We are watching the gamee and closely.

Posted by: Victoria5 | June 18, 2009 11:23 AM

Smooth Sailing Over? You call inheriting multiple crises from the Bush Administration "Smooth Sailing?"

I guess if you keep your eyes tightly focused on tiny blips in the polls, your perspective gets a bit skewed.

Posted by: nodebris | June 18, 2009 11:16 AM

OK, I'll bite. Specifically which "spending bills" caused the mortgage crisis and subsequent collapse of the garbage securities market? Or the rise in health care costs? Or the failure of the car companies?

I didn't get the memos.

Posted by: tired_of_it | June 18, 2009 11:08 AM

As usual the Obama flacks are all over the Post's site with complimentary stuff which seems like campaign propaganda to me.

So far, he is drunk with power: spending money at an unsustainable level which will cause a terrible monetary crisis; he has absolutely no sense of why it is impractical to spend trillions on health care when he and the Congress can't even consider how the trial lawyers have caused malpractice problems; he does not listen to any qualified scientists about CO2's irrelevance to climate change; he takes the side of America's and Israel's enemies who are sworn to eliminate Israel and kill all the Jews; and he has projected an image of abject cowardice and weakness internationally.

He acts illegally, unconstitutionally, and he has stolen billions from ordinary people who invested in "safe, secured" Chrysler and GM bonds. But it seems nothing is safe from this President and, now his proposal to revise financial industry supervision includes provisions for seizing major institutions with no compensation. This is Venezuela's Hugo Chavez type stuff, and as Chavez has said in jest -- Obama is going to make him and Castro look like they are on the political right.

This President is an arrogant and ignorant thief, a criminal, unfit to be in any executive position, and a thug who seemingly is determined to destroy capitalism and freedom in America to install a fascist dictatorship.

The quicker he gets impeached, the better.

Posted by: aelemay | June 18, 2009 11:05 AM

"It galls me that the economy is being blamed on President Obama! He inherited it from those jokers in the White House"

Obama was a senator BEFORE he was president.He voted FOR every spending bill!

He deserves a good part of the blame
He was one of just one hundred possible votes.

Posted by: newagent99 | June 18, 2009 10:53 AM

It galls me that the economy is being blamed on President Obama! He inherited it from those jokers in the White House. Everyone who voted for Obama should refer -- wherever possible - to the recession as "Bush and Cheney's recesssion." The public must be reminded that it was Bush and Cheny who got us into this mess. Start today. Repeat over and over again the following: the Bush-Cheney Recession. Perhaps this will drown out the lies that my former party is selling to the public!

Posted by: Formerrepublican | June 18, 2009 10:18 AM

Obama is doing great. Listening to the never-tax and spend republicans whine is music to my ears. Obama acted boldly and decisively to stop the Banking crisis and stopped the collapse of the world economy. It worked. The Banks are giving the money back. If the remaining reactionary right wing wants to go down in flames screaming NO!!!, they won't be taking America with them.

Fear, hatred, deception and division. That's all they've got.

Posted by: thebobbob | June 18, 2009 10:17 AM

Cry me a river. The banks, hedge funds and investment bankers don't like his new policies. The docs and the hospitals don't like his new plans. So what? I think the greatest sign that he is on the right track is the squealing from the clowns that drove us off this cliff in the first place.

Charge on Barack.

He didn't invent the bailouts or the wars or health care costs. Those were laying on the desk when he got there. And all I hear is crying about his answers to the problems but not one damned workable alternative being offered to any of them.

Posted by: tired_of_it | June 18, 2009 9:49 AM

The measure of Obama will be how the economy is doing after this budding economic rebound has run its course. If there is an economic slump with unemployment hit the same lows that it hits now then he will have failed, if the nadir is higher than this one he will have been a success.

In the political arena he has no peer. Even if the Republican strategy of taring him down works to some extent, they have done nothing to show that they are any more credible than they were in 2009. They have no health care plan. They lack content. That combination does not engender confidence or trust. The fall back for those in the middle will be at least he is trying.

Posted by: Gator-ron | June 18, 2009 9:35 AM

I will expect more of these reports putting down Obama's popularity.

Posted by: atsyed | June 18, 2009 9:31 AM

How many conservatives read WSJ or listen to NBC anymore???? Maybe their numbers aren't really representative of the public. Their numbers are dropping like it's hot.

Posted by: kpistol | June 18, 2009 9:23 AM

Obama's got no balls. That's his problem. He thinks the GOPers are all unicorns and rainbows, and doesn't realize that he needs to grow a pair of balls to teabag his agenda thru the opposition like Bush did. It's almost embarassing how Carter-like Obama is acting. Bipartisanship? Sure, the GOP respects that...ahem. Pull my finger; it plays "Jingle Bells".

Posted by: gotoran | June 18, 2009 9:12 AM

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