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The Word on Barack Obama

Nearly eight months into Barack Obama's presidency, Americans' perceptions of him are mostly positive, but the administration's efforts at health reform inspire a more critical reaction, with more describing their feelings about the proposed changes with a negative word (43 percent) than a positive one (31 percent) according to a new Washington Post poll.

A majority in the poll (52 percent) described their feelings about Obama with a positive word, with "good" the most often mentioned word (88 people used it, out of the 1,001 surveyed). Others near the top included "okay" (53 people), "great" (44), "positive" (21), "hopeful" (17) and "satisfied" (15).

About three in 10 (31 percent) used a negative word, with "disappointed" (43), "dislike" (18), and "negative" (15) atop the list. Some used words with a more neutral connotation ("adequate" at 10 people and "ambivalent" cited by seven being the top two), and 9 percent had no opinion.

On health reform, public reaction tilts toward the negative, with a sizable 27 percent unclear or neutral on the proposals. On the positive side, rosy reactions are concentrated around the words "good" (55), "necessary" (36) and "hopeful" (17), while on the negative side, a broader array of words float to the top, including "bad" (27), "scary" (23), "terrible" (20) and "disaster" (12).

One warning sign for those Democrats working on the reform effort: among Democrats, fewer than half had a positive reaction (44 percent), while more than two-thirds of Republicans used a negative word to describe their feelings (68 percent). Nearly half of independents (48 percent) reacted negatively and just three in 10 had a positive take (30 percent).

Assessing the way Obama operates as president, more than four in 10 in the poll said Obama's time as a community organizer (44 percent) has been a bigger influence on his style in the Oval Office than his work as a teacher (14 percent) or lawyer (27 percent), and most who highlight the community organizer experience consider it a good thing (72 percent).

Obama's resume - particularly his time as a community organizer - had been a rallying cry for some in the Republican Party during last year's campaign, drawing derision from vice presidential nominee and former Alaska governor Sarah Palin in her speech to the Republican National Convention: "I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a 'community organizer,'" she said, "except that you have actual responsibilities."

In the new poll, nearly four in 10 Republicans (38 percent) said Obama's experience as a community organizer had the biggest influence on his work as president, as did 48 percent of Democrats and 46 percent of independents. Across party lines, most who called this experience the deepest influence deemed it a good thing.

Almost two years ago, just before the Iowa caucuses jump-started his run for the Democratic nomination, more poll respondents tagged Obama as "inexperienced" than used any other single term to describe the then-candidate. This time around, that word was mentioned by a scant three people.

Complete question wording and toplines from the poll can be found here.

By Jennifer Agiesta  |  September 8, 2009; 11:41 AM ET
Categories:  Barack Obama , Post Polls  
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Access to health care doesn't help untold thousands of unjustly targeted Americans recover from the devastating physiological effects of being silently irradiated by microwave and laser radiation "directed energy weapons"...

...the weaponization of the electromagnetic spectrum, a silent "final solution" that may have the nation's political leadership in its ideological cross-hairs.

This technology is capable of altering moods, emotions, inducing fatigue, weakness, exhaustion, confusion, life-altering injury, disease and a slow-kill death.

And key elements of the Obama administration -- chief among them the defense/security/intel establishment -- are proliferating these technologies by various modalities -- from hand-held weaponry to satellite and terrestrial cell tower based delivery systems.

American citizens and families targeted by this covert torture matrix also are subject to financial sabotage that decimates their livelihoods and financial resources...

...and relentless "community stalking" -- harassment, surreptitious home entries and vandalism by government-enabled vigilantes affiliated with federally funded community policing and anti-terrorism organizations.

Warrantless, covert placement of GPS tracking devices and misuse of cell phone technology to hunt down the unjustly targeted enables this grassroots terrorism.

But the Obama administration continues to allow these warrantless intrusions into the lives of unjustly targeted American families.

By its naivete -- its unquestioning rubber-stamp approval of the deployment of these destructive technologies and programs -- the Obama administration is presiding over the destruction of democracy, the rule of law, and personal liberty.

The bureaucratic saboteurs and Dr. Strangeloves behind these multi-agency crimes against humanity and the Constitution must be removed from power, immediately, before this silent genocide claims more victims -- endangering the Obama presidency while making a mockery of the rule of law.

OR (if link is corrupted / disabled): RE: "GESTAPO USA"

Posted by: scrivener50 | September 8, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Falling approval numbers for 43 were trumpeted on the front page, complete with teaser headlines. These numbers are published in an obscure spot, with apologies aplenty for the falling numbers.

Politics is politics. Just don't hide behind a fig leaf of impartiality.

Posted by: edbyronadams | September 8, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Sometimes I think that these polls ignore that the nibbling away is on both sides, one absolutely opposed and one just kind of disappointed.

Here's an advance "transcript" of Obama's health care speech.

Posted by: Klog | September 8, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Well, we have one from the "Tin Foil Hat" squad, who thinks Obama is speaking to him from a Microwave tower, and another who wonders why the Republican talking points are not the subject of an article about a Democratic President's public policy perceptions.
Although I missed the message from the microwave, it seems these numbers are reasonable, in spite of the propaganda spewing from the Right-Wing Noise Machine.

Posted by: JohnInMI | September 8, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

These non-stop polls are getting to be boring.

Posted by: mstratas | September 8, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Great results! Sure that health reform will be approved with satisfaction! Because everything makes suppose that this 12 % have all the earmarks of being the answer of those who have a frightening and unfounded fear that there may be decline in their pockets. There is an assumption but equally important percentage of 12 % that will mark the difference and is that percentage of people that cannot answer for being sick or because they are fed up of so many Third World survey!

Posted by: avesaabrasil | September 10, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

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