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The Most Important Number in Politics Today

Screen shot 2009-09-22 at 11.13.06 AM.png

55

That's the percentage of voters in new Gallup data who expressed confidence in President Barack Obama's ability to effectively manage the government -- down 11 points from where he stood on that same question at the 100-day mark of his presidency.

That decline is directly attributed to an erosion in confidence among Republicans (down from 38 percent in April to 21 percent now) and independent voters -- two-thirds of whom said Obama could effectively manage the government in April as compared to just half of whom say the same today.

Obama's faltering among Republicans is to be expected as the lofty promises of the campaign collide with the hard realities of governing.

But, the double digit drop among Independents is more worrisome, particularly since it coincides with similar fall-off among unaffiliated voters when it comes to Obama's overall job approval as well as his handling of health care.

As we wrote late last year, one of the central pillars of the Obama campaign -- and now the Obama presidency -- is the idea of a cult of competency. Obama has premised his Administration on the idea that the best people will be called to serve regardless of ideology or past disagreements. (Every Administration is, at least in part, a reaction to the one that preceded it, so the cult of competency is rightly understood as a response to the Bush Administration's mishandling of the Iraq war and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.)

If the Obama as uber manager meme begins to erode, it could spell more widespread problems for the Administration since competency -- and the trust engendered by it -- sits at the center of so much of what the President does.

We're not there yet -- 55 percent is still a solid number and Obama scores off the charts on other measures in the Gallup survey including a willingness to make "hard choices" (72 percent) and the idea that he is a "strong and decisive leader" (66 percent).

Still, the idea that political independents are losing confidence in Obama's ability to manage the government should be worrisome for the White House. Can the passage of a health care bill change that perception?

By Chris Cillizza  |  September 22, 2009; 11:47 AM ET
Categories:  Most Important Number  
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Comments

I don't understand. What's the hard choice? Removing troops currently there "disrupting AQ" so that we can re-insert them later to "terrorize terrorists?" What makes one war and the other not?

We differ. I think this was our first and only war of necessity since WW II. And the worst conceived and managed war in our history, including Iraq. To me, that's the crime.

Posted by: nodebris | September 23, 2009 11:46 PM | Report abuse

It is a hard choice and it must be taken and if he does it, I will redouble my support for him. But it was never a war of necessity.

Glad we are back to disrupt, we can just forget about all that war stuff.

Posted by: shrink2 | September 23, 2009 9:27 PM | Report abuse

I'm reading what you say, shrink2, but it isn't coming through entirely clear.

One small example: You dismiss "disrupting AQ" and then applaud "terrorizing the terrorists." I have trouble reconciling that. What am I missing?

Posted by: nodebris | September 23, 2009 5:43 PM | Report abuse

I don't think you are talking to me,
or you read nothing I wrote.

I have never accepted anything about Bush, least of all his metrics on foreign policy. It is in fact Obama who has clung to the Bush regime's metrics, dithering between broken icons and other symbols left on the table.

Obama should not have gone (chicken) hawk on the AfPak war, which he did, just to get elected. He did that, it was stupid and now he is doing a 180. That is good. I like that a lot. He ran on Iraq war bad, but Afghan war good. Don't deny that.

Now he will pull out of both of them. He will insert troops, assassinate killers and their fellow travelers, generally terrorize the terrorists while he works with Russia, China, Iran and India on the diplomatic solution for regional stability.

Wash hands? No one anywhere thinks we should do that. Too much blood on them.
We owe the area too much to just run off and yell Bush did that!

Posted by: shrink2 | September 23, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

What Bush did in Afghanistan does not define the U.S. interest in Afghanistan anymore than his economic management defines what is in the best interest of the U.S. economy. You should not accept the yardstick Bush handed you.

We need to think long and hard before we wash our hands of a region that combines collapsed and ineffective governments, nuclear weapons, and violent anti-Americanism. Nature abhors a vacuum; either we're there, or something we won't at all like will certainly fill the void. You may not be able to wave a wand and make everything beautiful, but neither do you just shrug and hope for the best.

Posted by: nodebris | September 23, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

When I watched the towers fall, I knew, right then, that hundreds of thousands of innocent people just had their death warrant signed.

I actually gave my wife a fatuous little speech about what would happen next, but it did! It included the sentence, "I don't know where but America is going to war now and in the end a lot of bombs are going to fall on a lot of innocent people and nothing will be accomplished."

It is, all of it, the totality of our ongoing problem with Islam an atrocity and no it is not necessary. It was and is, all political.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but we did not invade Afghanistan just to disrupt AQ. Incredibly, we sort of forgot about AQ as the mission creep accelerated toward the war on islamofacism. Now we are digging up "disrupt AQ" again? Like, what about nation building and democracy and the Taliban in Helmand and all that? If it weren't murder I would just laugh.

Posted by: shrink2 | September 23, 2009 7:59 AM | Report abuse

shrink2, I confess amazement that you can't think of a reason to be in Afghanistan besides "politics." Or that you believe it was never a war of necessity. You saw no value to "disrupting" al Quada in 2001/2002?

==

I'm not of one mind on this. If I had to call it the going after AQ would have been much more limited, and not based on "securing" the whole country. However much the Afghan government knew and allowed, and why would AQ tell them anything but "we're your Muslim brothers," the government didn't do the attacks.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | September 23, 2009 1:48 AM | Report abuse

"send Zouk and JakeD to Afghanistan."

I'm sure the Geneva Convention would prohibit that sort of cruel treatment of the Afghan population.

Posted by: nodebris | September 23, 2009 12:17 AM | Report abuse

shrink2, I confess amazement that you can't think of a reason to be in Afghanistan besides "politics." Or that you believe it was never a war of necessity. You saw no value to "disrupting" al Quada in 2001/2002? Interesting.

I differ, and my reasons certainly have nothing to do with domestic U.S. politics.

Posted by: nodebris | September 23, 2009 12:15 AM | Report abuse

Well, that is today's talking point. We are there to "disrupt".

==

Bring the troops home and send Zouk and JakeD to Afghanistan.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | September 22, 2009 10:36 PM | Report abuse

"These three options are not exclusive. Implying the decision was merely political would be inaccurate and excessively cynical."

Ok. I am laughing. Thanks for that.

So now...what was it. Idealistic? Practical? Give any reason, apart from political.

"Strictly speaking, Obama's announced logic for operations there is disrupting and dismantling al Quaeda both in Afghanistan and Pakistan. That may or may not require a definitive military victory over the Taliban."

announced logic,
announced logic,
announced logic,
announced logic,


Well, that is today's talking point. We are there to "disrupt".

The great news is that he is quiting.

I don't care how he covers the decision.
I care that he is doing a 180.

It is a hard choice and it must be taken and if he does it, I will redouble my support for him. But it was never a war of necessity.

Posted by: shrink2 | September 22, 2009 9:16 PM | Report abuse

"Plus, of course it was a political decision, what else could it have been, a military decision, a moral decision?"

These three options are not exclusive. Implying the decision was merely political would be inaccurate and excessively cynical.

Strictly speaking, Obama's announced logic for operations there is disrupting and dismantling al Quaeda both in Afghanistan and Pakistan. That may or may not require a definitive military victory over the Taliban.

Posted by: nodebris | September 22, 2009 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Without the "terrorist attack" nine months in, Bush's numbers would have hit the 20s by the middle of his second year.

Without the phony color alert they would have bottomed out sooner than they did.

Bush rode a wave of tragedy. Obama is doing quite well without the "popularity stimulus" of a few thousand dead secretaries and janitors.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | September 22, 2009 6:45 PM | Report abuse

Reason5, Not up to your usual standards. By that measure, Obama is not doing as badly as you would assert. He has passed a huge stimulus bill that has at least stopped the economic freefall and gotten a Supreme Court justice approved. It is quite likely that he will have a major health care reform bill passed all before his first year is over. All while having roughly the same approval rating as Bush without the terrorist attack. Sounds ok to me.

Posted by: trep1 | September 22, 2009 6:24 PM | Report abuse

reason5, pls eml me at

mark_in_austin@operamail.com

Posted by: mark_in_austin | September 22, 2009 6:17 PM | Report abuse

reason5:

9/11 saved George's butt, since the economy had taken a dive on news of his election and was already tanking, along with george's numbers.

9/11 put George in a position where the country rallied around him in the hope that he would do it right, and he responded by doing it right wing to the nth. He got good numbers for about a year, by which time he had lost interest in OEF and was hell bent on getting OIF off and stalling. His bump in the polls deluded him into thinking that the majority of Americans liked what he was doing, where mostly they hoped what he was doing was something they would like.

By the time he had us mired in Mesopotamian mud his numbers were back to dismal headed eventually to wretched.

Obama is at the point Bush was after 9/11, except that Obama's numbers aren't a sympathy vote.

And for the "Obama is making us less safe." crowd, he has gone eleven days more than George without a terrorist attack.

Posted by: ceflynline | September 22, 2009 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Agreed.

Posted by: shrink2 | September 22, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

@S2: George Will is incoherent. His historical sidebars remind me of that one about the drunk and the lamppost. That he gets paid to write AT ALL offends me deeply.

I get the point that this is opinion and not news. But lately the columns here have been kind of like JD's posts .. same crap in rotation.

At least the Palin '12 ones have stopped for now but look how absurd that had to get before they stopped.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | September 22, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Aaaand, I don't think he had to own the Afghan war, he chose to go hawkish on it, no one made him do that. Plus, of course it was a political decision, what else could it have been, a military decision, a moral decision?

If a military victory over the Taliban ever was possible, most experts agree, now, the amount of force required will not get the requisite backing from the war weary American people.

The only thing that could save him from an Afghan debacle is total disaster in Iraq, which I consider very possible if not likely, or a masterstroke of regional diplomacy.

Posted by: shrink2 | September 22, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Gold, let me remind you that George Bush's approval ratings were over 60% at this point in his presidency in 2001. Remember? After 9/11, his approval ratings skyrocketed. In his first term Bush passed tax reform, the Medicare Prescription Drug plan, No Child Left Behind, a law banning partial birth abortion, nominated 2 Supreme Court Justices who were confirmed (including Chief Justice Roberts) and passed many other bills and lead the effort for 2 wars: Afghanistan & Iraq.

President Bush wasn't bombarded in his popularity ratings until he pushed for the idea of Social Security Reform. Then partisan democrats ran out and told old people George Bush is out to take their checks. Society, for some reason, believed this and Bush's popularity went down the toilet. Now Obama is pushing the idea of healthcare reform. So partisan Republicans are out telling old folks there will be death panels set up to do them in. Again, society is believing this nonsense and Obama's popularity is dropping faster than a brick off a mountain. Any time a President dares tackle one of America's main issues: healthcare or social security, the oppossing party will gain political satisfaction by politicizing the process.

Posted by: reason5 | September 22, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

It is true, but I don't see it as different from Krauthammer, who (juxta? com? but in any case) poses unrelated facts in order to make his points, or George Will, who cites interesting historical tibits, then tries to tie them to his editorial agenda as if history controlled precedent, or were even somehow related to the current issue.

Right opinion is alive and safe at the WaPo, we like it because it horrifies us. People who can only read stuff they agree
with make weak opponents and politics is a fight, it matters.

Posted by: shrink2 | September 22, 2009 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Yeah S2 but the RR! isn't based on credible readings of the data, not even fanciful ones, it's insulting-to-the-intelligence readings of the data.

Can you imagine how GWB would have been strutting and swaggering at 55%? And how the enabling press would have been echoing?

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | September 22, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

"Are post counts good for job security? Looks like it..."

Still unclear on this?
The Republican Rising! is an entirely obvious editorial decision. The Fix is in the opinion section of the paper, not the news section. Controversial opinion pieces dominate the "most read" lists of these web sites. Hits and post counts are not good for job security, they are job security.


Posted by: shrink2 | September 22, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Well we now have more meaningless numbers. Republicans we can safely ignore, since if there is any question about them it is that there are still those RINOs who haven't gotten the message yet and still believe that Obama can be an effective Presidetn, when the current Congressional theory is that they can hold up his legislation and ruin his pPresidency by doing so. That 21% means that one in five Republicans don't think that John Boehner and friends can actually derail Obama, a stunning lack of faith in their leadership.

The Independents are now split on his ability to run the country, PROBABLY because in letting Congress do the hard work of legislating to give him the tools to run the country he gives those who would be inclined to doubt some room to do so.

WHEN he gets Health Care Legislation, and a fully passed budget by October, (which it appears he has) andMovement on withdrawal from Iraq and... which he seems to be getting, the numbers will stiffen.

And next year, when the Republicans try to do a repeat of Newt and the gang and shut down the government as hostage so that they can demand the control of Congress back if America wants anything to get done, the Democrats will point out that having shut down the Government under the Contract on America Newt and company never figured out how to get it restarted and spent twelve years doing nothing at all.

Per cent of approval numbers mean nothing at all without context. If you intend to ask IF a polled person approves of proposition X or not you also need to ask WHY he approves or not. Especially the WHY not.

Posted by: ceflynline | September 22, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Typical Washington Post analysis:

2009: Obama's rating in the 50s: "Doom for the Democrats! Almost half of the country doesn't like him!"

2008: Bush's ratings in the 20s-30s: "Doom for the Democrats! Republicans are poised for a comeback!"

==

Post of the Day

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | September 22, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

I think CC does these columns just for GOP troll flypaper, it fires up the filth. Just look at (but don't bother reading) all the snowbama posts. He probably has the nurses dragging him away from the day room PC as he copy-pastes one screed after another.

Are post counts good for job security? Looks like it, this is not good reporting.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | September 22, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

shrink2 wrote: "Obama made a huge mistake owning the Afpak war."

I don't think it was a political decision, or that he has much choice but to own it.

Posted by: nodebris | September 22, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Obama should not have posed

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

the tiger can't change his stripes. Or more aptly, the zebra - a prey animal good at running away.

Posted by: snowbama | September 22, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

THE MOST REVOLTING NUMBER IN JOURNALISM TODAY

ZERO -- the number of mainstream journalists who realize that microwave/laser 'directed energy weapons' have been deployed against the American public by their own government.


ATTENTION A.G. HOLDER: Where is the DOJ Civil Rights Division investigation into the covert use of silent, harmful microwave and laser directed energy weapons on unjustly targeted Americans and their families by a Bush-legacy federal-local "multi-agency coordinated action program" that continues to commit civil and human rights violations under Team Obama...

...including warrantless GPS-activated "community stalking" harassment by vigilantes affiliated with federally-funded community policing and town watch groups?

http://nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-terrorizes-america OR http://NowPublic.com/scrivener RE: "GESTAPO USA"

Posted by: scrivener50 | September 22, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Typical Washington Post analysis:

2009: Obama's rating in the 50s: "Doom for the Democrats! Almost half of the country doesn't like him!"

2008: Bush's ratings in the 20s-30s: "Doom for the Democrats! Republicans are poised for a comeback!"

Posted by: seantolsen | September 22, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

The Afpak war will end and stability in the region can occur when the US, China and Russia get on the same page about the region. The interests of the three powers plus Iran and India are actually aligned already (all threatened by Sunni jihadis) but the US cold warriors, all watery eyes and flapping jowls, got together with the neocons. They thought they could and therefore should go go it alone.

Obama made a huge mistake owning the Afpak war. I suppose it helped him get elected, but after Rumsfeld et al lost the initiative (ObL and Mullah Omar escape to Pakistan, etc.), Obama should not have posed as though it was his to regain.

Posted by: shrink2 | September 22, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Ed Lasky refers to Obama as a "ditherer." A more apt description of our president's non-leadership qualities cannot be found.

He has been dithering about what to do in Afghanistan since January. The delay has only caused the situation there to worsen - to the point that the commanding general on the ground Stanley McChrystal is now begging for more troops in order to avoid disaster.

That leaked report asking for more troops has elicited more excuses, more dithering from the White House. And now we learn via Bill Roggio that McChrystal is doing something almost unheard of; he is challenging his commander in chief to fulfill his desire for more troops or he will resign.

Ditherer in chief is busy, busy. you think it's easy to memorize all those answers and have to reply without a teleprompter? good thing there were no questions on ACORN, Van Jones, cash for clunkers, skyrocketing unemployment, auto bankruptcy, student loan takeovers, Honduras, Iran, Israel, missile defense, etc. you know the important stuff that we haven't already heard a thousand times. but you would have to go on Fox to get those kind of questions.

but Letterman did find out that the kids had a good summer break. thank goodness.

Posted by: snowbama | September 22, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Surprise, surprise, Democrap Socialist Party operative Chris Cillizza tells us that the Gallup Poll has Obama's Job approval at 55% from a 66% high of May 2009, a drop of ONLY 11%. This poll(?) is supposed to tell us that Obama is still doing OK, when in fact his numbers are dropping like a rock in the ocean.
Gallup ALWAYS over-samples Democrap Socialists, and ALWAYS has had higher poll numbers for Democrap Socialists when the do-do hits the fan after the elections. The more reliable polls have been Rasmussen's and the Zogby polls, which of course Chris ignores for political reasons, because it makes Obama's numbers look bad. The Zogby poll of 9/17/09 had Obama's approval--disapproval at 49%--50%, and Rasmussen's of likely voters had Obama's numbers the same on 9/22/09 (yesterday). Another of Chris's Obama's poll numbers con's is to start Obama's approval numbers on May 2009 when Obama's approval number was 66%, rather than on Jan. 2009, when it was at 70%. While Gallup's numbers, starting in May 2009 to today, have ONLY dropped by 11%, the more accurate and more reliable Zogby and Rasmussen polls show a drop of 21% from Jan. 2009 to today. A 21% drop of Obama's approval numbers in only 9 months ain't chicken feed, it's a disaster for Obama's Communist facist agenda.
Nice try Chris.

Posted by: armpeg | September 22, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Obama plays the opposition like a violin.

Posted by: mikeinmidland


that must be why he has passed so many of his plans.

Oh wait. never mind. maybe some more face time would solve that. but then when would he play golf?

Posted by: snowbama | September 22, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

As to Afghanistan, one of the things the administration made clear is, they aren't going to send in any more troops until the Afghan election is settled. They need to know who they're working with, and whether political stability is an attainable goal.

Obama already increased troops by a large amount. McChrystal wants 20,000 more (have you ever heard a commander who said he needed LESS?) and Obama hasn't said no, he just hasn't said yes yet.

You can bet if he'd rubber-stamped it, the GOP would be all over him for risking our troops without a goal, or something like that. Now, the GOP is out in front of it, and when Obama approves the troops, they can't complain. Obama plays the opposition like a violin.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | September 22, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

when comparing the good of the country versus the good of the democrat party, the choice is easy.

Posted by: snowbama | September 22, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Your hatred for our President is noted, traitorous neocons.

It will avail you little.

Posted by: WillSeattle | September 22, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

from WSJ:

I'm lost on President Barack Obama's Afghanistan policy—along with most of Congress and the U.S. military. Not quite eight months ago, Mr. Obama pledged to "defeat" al Qaeda in Afghanistan by transforming that country's political and economic infrastructure, training Afghan forces and adding 21,000 U.S. forces for starters. He proclaimed Afghanistan's strategic centrality to prevent Muslim extremism from taking over Pakistan—an even more vital nation because of its nuclear weapons. And a mere three weeks ago, he punctuated his commitments by proclaiming that Afghanistan is a "war of necessity," not one of choice. White House spokesmen reinforced this by promising that the president would "fully resource" the war.

Yet less than one week ago, Mr. Obama said the following about troop increases: "I'm going to take a very deliberate process in making those decisions. There is no immediate decision pending on resources, because one of the things that I'm absolutely clear about is you have to get the strategy right and then make a determination about resources." He repeated that on Sunday's talk shows.

Are we now to understand that he made all those previous declarations and decisions without a strategy he was committed to? Prior to his recent statements, it seemed clear that the president and his advisers had adopted a strategy already—the counterinsurgency one—and that Gen. Stanley McChrystal was tapped precisely because he would implement that plan. The idea, to repeat, was to deploy forces sufficient to clear territory of Taliban threats, hold that territory, and build up the sinews of the country behind that.

Nothing significant has changed to account for the shift from Mr. Obama's confident policy proclamations to his temporizing statements of recent days. The president certainly understood before last week that the situation in Afghanistan was deteriorating. And he knew when he was inaugurated and when he first uttered his colorful "war of necessity" phrase that his party, and the public generally, were increasingly opposed to the war.

Posted by: snowbama | September 22, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Obama's Afghanistan Policy Reaches Its Expiration Date

Barack Obama, July of last year:

Senator McCain said — just months ago — that "Afghanistan is not in trouble because of our diversion to Iraq." I could not disagree more. Our troops and our NATO allies are performing heroically in Afghanistan, but I have argued for years that we lack the resources to finish the job because of our commitment to Iraq. That's what the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said earlier this month. And that's why, as President, I will make the fight against al Qaeda and the Taliban the top priority that it should be. This is a war that we have to win.

Today, Marc Ambinder shares a bit of thinking from within the White House: "Why send soldiers to die if, maybe, you just can't win?"

If Obama thinks the war is unwinnable, it would have been nice for him to tell the American public during the campaign, instead of completely reversing himself on a key provision of his foreign-policy vision less than a year into his presidency. Why, if we didn't know any better, we might think that Obama was dovish and unwilling to defy his party's pacifist grassroots the whole time, and that all of his "this is a war that we have to win" talk during the campaign was empty window-dressing to hide an out-of-the-mainstream worldview.

Posted by: snowbama | September 22, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

shrink2 and AndyR3:

Ten U.S. Companies on the Verge of Bankruptcy

http://www.yahoo.com/s/1134857

Posted by: JakeD | September 22, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Don't forget, Iraq is going to explode back on the scene. It won't be pretty and it will allow for an Afghan exit (reversal).

Posted by: shrink2 | September 22, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

That number will jump back to 60% two weeks after he passes healthcare reform. Then it will be back at 66% when he sends 20,000 more troops to Afganistan in a month or so after McHugh has a chance to get settled in as the secretary of the Army.
After that he will look to pass the bank reform and cap and trade probably culminating with the whole agenda being done by March of next year right about the time that the unemployment rate starts going down again.

Posted by: AndyR3 | September 22, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

the Obama administration’s furious opposition to Zelaya’s perfectly constitutional removal from office is beginning to seem not only unfounded but bizarre.

The Congressional Research Service, an arm of the Library of Congress, issued a report recently that the Honduran government did nothing illegal under Honduran law. “Available sources indicate that the judicial and legislative branches applied constitutional and statutory law in the case against President Zelaya in a manner that was judged by the Honduran authorities from both branches of the government to be in accordance with the Honduran legal system,” wrote Norma Gutierrez, a senior foreign-law specialist at the CRS. “The Supreme Court of Honduras has constitutional and statutory authority to hear cases against the President of the Republic and many other high officers of the State, to adjudicate and enforce judgments, and to request the assistance of the public forces to enforce its rulings.”

It seems that the definition of coup d’état at Foggy Bottom and the White House is not just an “extra-constitutional change of government” but also a constitutional one—if the Obama administration doesn’t approve of it


Just another bumble. there seems to be a new one about every couple days.

Posted by: snowbama | September 22, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

willingness to make "hard choices

setter or spanial?

Martha's vinyard or boca?

white sox or cubs?

Posted by: snowbama | September 22, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

D Party's ineffectiveness as a governing coalition.

Posted by: mark_in_austin


already in evidence. and the foreign policy leadership is Carteresque.

Posted by: snowbama | September 22, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

CC, why do you always bury the lede?

"Obama scores off the charts on other measures in the Gallup survey including a willingness to make "hard choices" (72 percent) and the idea that he is a "strong and decisive leader" (66 percent)."

Seriously, I don't think that 55 is the most important number in this poll, let alone "in politics today." I know, I know. 72 and 66 aren't "important" numbers in politics because they don't work with your narrative that the President is in trouble.

Whatev.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | September 22, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Hope and change - Meet reality. I understand you are strangers and are not familiar.

Posted by: snowbama | September 22, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

"Can the passage of a health care bill change that perception?"

Not for the unemployed and the fearful.

However, "no HC bill passed" would speak volumes about the D Party's ineffectiveness as a governing coalition.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | September 22, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Chris,

It's true that the reduction in the number of Independents backing Obama is mildly alarming, but even so, the President's numbers are good. And once the Health Care Overhaul is passed, there will be an uptick in Obama's numbers.

I'd be more concerned about Afghanistan. It's a 'lady-or-tiger' situation for Obama--politically, militarily, strategically. This entire concept of 'crushing' al-Quaeda makes good domestic rhetoric but, as with 'ending world hunger', it remains elusive.

If the President's numbers TRULY fall--I mean to the danger point--it will be Afghanistan, not health care or energy or reform.

Posted by: sverigegrabb | September 22, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

"Can the passage of a health care bill change that perception?"

No. The definitive end to the recession, i.e, a jobful recovery and positive trends on the deficit, will mean all is forgiven on election day, except of course, being black before the election.

Posted by: shrink2 | September 22, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully, she's still on her boycott of The Fix.

Posted by: JakeD | September 22, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

drindl is not going to like this.

Posted by: snowbama | September 22, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

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