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Short Takes: The Perils of Governing



Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has reason to smile as new Gallup numbers show her more popular than President Barack Obama. AP Photo/Mikhail Metzel

New numbers from Gallup that show Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as more popular than President Barack Obama provide a clear illustration of the fundamental clash between campaigning and governing.

In an early October survey, 62 percent of the Gallup sample said they felt favorably toward Clinton while 56 percent said the same of Obama. Back in January, nearly eight in ten (78 percent) had a favorable feeling toward Obama while 65 percent felt the same about Clinton.

The erosion in Obama's numbers are due almost entirely to Republicans' changing attitudes toward him. Back in January, a stunning 60 percent of self-identified GOPers had a favorable view of Obama; nine months later that number has shrunk to 19 percent.

Screen shot 2009-10-15 at 12.49.32 PM.png


Why? Because in the context of the campaign, which was still the dominant dynamic in most peoples' mind back in January, Obama -- or any candidate -- can present himself as all things to all people.

But, the realities of governing is that choices are made and, inevitably, many of those who had such high hopes for Obama see those hopes dashed as he takes the country in a direction that runs contrary to where they think things should head.

It's the inevitable difference between being a candidate for president and actually being the president. The drop is particularly steep for President Obama because his candidacy was far more focused on grand concepts (hope, change etc.) than policy specifics so the implementation of his policy vision is jarring for many Republicans who fundamentally disagree with his governing philosophy.

By Chris Cillizza  |  October 15, 2009; 3:00 PM ET
Categories:  Short Takes  
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Comments

"The allegation that the GOP is causing Obama to fail is ludicrous."

The correct allegation is that they are *trying* and *hoping* that Obama fails. They'd only be *causing* it if he were in fact failing and the GOP were the cause, neither of which is true. Short of getting headlines on Fox, the GOP hasn't been effective at much of anything it set its mind to for quite a while.

Posted by: nodebris | October 18, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

I`m amazed as Obama continues his campaign tour with a nice speech every day somewhere,we still have some on this thread whining about the GOP.The allegation that the GOP is causing Obama to fail is ludicrous.The Republicans can`t get out of their own way and don`t have the votes to stop anything.Obama has a fragmented collection of Democrats who are badly split on every piece of major legislation.Obama`s real problem is he doesn`t want to govern and seems to be avoiding tough decisions as he barnstorms the world.We have a celebrity president who loves the applause and abhors offering serious leadership

Posted by: bowspray | October 16, 2009 9:49 PM | Report abuse

At this point, this is an apples and oranges comparison and really means nothing.

As for the differences in governming and And let's not pretend that the GOPers really gave Obama a shot. They've done everything in their power and beyond to demonize and to make him fail. Furthermore, he's had to contend with a host of problems not faced by any president since FDR, and every single one of them was of George W. Bush and the GOP's making.

Posted by: jbentley4 | October 16, 2009 5:46 PM | Report abuse

I hadn't known that President Obama enjoyed a 60 per cent favorable rating among Republicans in January. That is an astonishing figure. Does anyone know whether any other President since, say, 1976 has enjoyed such high initial approval from the opposition party during his first month in office?

Posted by: douglaslbarber | October 16, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

And why are these trolls that smother legitimate discussion not banned? It is an insult to the rest of the Fixistas.

Posted by: optimyst | October 16, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

If you can't post with an iPhone I must be really deranged.

Posted by: snowbama | October 16, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

broadwayjoe:

I didn't even post on this thread yesterday.

snowbama:

Everyone KNOWS you can't post here from an iPhone or convention, so you must be posting from a mental hospital (liberal "logic").

Posted by: JakeD | October 16, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

sigh. another FIX post that leaves you wanting nothing more. another bunch of postings by snobama that belong in the elementary school yard. namecalling, etc...
no adult discussion going on here, folks, move along, nothing to see, nothing to learn...

Posted by: katem1 | October 16, 2009 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Hardly surprising more Republicans like Hillary than Obama since she is more militarily hawkish than he is.

Posted by: Aprogressiveindependent | October 15, 2009 10:15 PM | Report abuse

I keep forgetting that simply showing up is sufficient for your assignment. Some of us actually have to produce occasionly clearly posting on the fix satisfies the very low bar they set for empty heads.

Posted by: snowbama | October 15, 2009 10:05 PM | Report abuse

Dude. I'm at a conference. Eating oysters. Drinking beer. Walking on the beach. How r those red semis treating you. Loser.

Posted by: snowbama | October 15, 2009 9:52 PM | Report abuse

I hope you're in there the rest of your life zouk

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 15, 2009 9:27 PM | Report abuse

Newest command from al;

polar bears are victims.

Rinse

repeat

Posted by: snowbama | October 15, 2009 9:23 PM | Report abuse

stupid

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 15, 2009 9:20 PM | Report abuse

I See the Queen of mean is staring at the screen, waiting for à friend. Still no luck.

Posted by: snowbama | October 15, 2009 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Correction. Blame Beck and Rush. Its hard being à liberal. SO many commands from Al Gore.

Posted by: snowbama | October 15, 2009 9:06 PM | Report abuse

you're too terminally pissed off to be funny.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 15, 2009 9:01 PM | Report abuse

I just got the email from soros/dnc/acorn/ nytimes. It said blame bush. If that doesn't stick, blame Jake.

Posted by: snowbama | October 15, 2009 8:59 PM | Report abuse

Oh the lament. The great socialist takeover didn't work out. Declare war on the fair and balanced truth tellers.

And I haven't seen Jake for some time so your boogeyman rings hallow. Is this a new theme ?

Posted by: snowbama | October 15, 2009 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Make sure you feed Tornado. :) Out.

==

catch no ball. Feed Tornado?

time to skeedaddle:

http://www.rondianetyler.com/images/tornado_pic.jpg

awesome:

http://www.desktoprating.com/wallpapers/nature-wallpapers-pictures/lighting-and-tornado-storm-wallpaper.jpg

Seriously though this place has had it. Even reading around the two trolls just being made aware of the existence of such sh|tty people is bad for the soul. The pettiness, the smallness

"I thought you said" this and "I thought you said" that. It's wearying.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 15, 2009 8:31 PM | Report abuse

It's not worth the effort to post here, trying to be heard above the noise.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 15, 2009 7:52 PM
___________
True. It really is officially Jake's Place, hosted by Jake and his sidekick "snow," the blog-killers.

But good news all around in O-Nation (not reported here of course): Rush was kicked out of ownership group looking to buy the Rams; Anita Dunn called out Faux News as a non-news political operation; Piyush Jindal's name was booed at a BHO event in Louisiana; Dow Jones is doing fine; Roman Polanski is still in jail.

Make sure you feed Tornado. :) Out.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | October 15, 2009 8:03 PM | Report abuse

Actually we see the loons and leftists and few others. Cf8 laaves a bad taste. Why do you think he was the first ever banned. Cc has instincts but no power.

Posted by: snowbama | October 15, 2009 8:02 PM | Report abuse

The independent thinker takes the entrenched route.

Posted by: snowbama | October 15, 2009 7:56 PM | Report abuse

It's not worth the effort to post here, trying to be heard above the noise.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 15, 2009 7:52 PM | Report abuse

Wow cc. The terrible twins cf8 and drivl have really done a number on your traffic. This extreme leftism is also sinking NBC and msnbc and the nytimes. It is not only loony, it is distasteful as the ratings clearly show. Is there a vaccine available?

Posted by: snowbama | October 15, 2009 5:11 PM
_

You and Jake, sadly, converted this space to "Jake's Place." Well done, er, I guess...Remember, you two VonBrunn fan club members, "There's a fool in every city so there are a lot of fools to pity." -- Mr. T.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | October 15, 2009 7:23 PM | Report abuse

"The erosion in Obama's numbers are due almost entirely to Republicans' changing attitudes toward him."
________

That's why all this is kinda irrelevant. Who cares whether BHO is abandoned by folks who were against him the first place? And so what if the poll says Hillary is ahead of BHO, which I don't believe. Hillary isn't running against him. Only one GOPer is remotely competitive: Phalin. And Phalin would lose by 23 pts. to BHO if the election were today according to Marist. BHO is at 56, above his 2008 vote total. Rush will not join the NFL. All is good.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | October 15, 2009 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Loss of support among Republicans should come as no surprise, the anomaly was that 60% of them supported him in January.

But what's he done to lose that support? Not much. "Interfering in commerce" doesn't really cut it, so the loss probably comes from listening to Beck and Limbaugh and all that dumb teabagger rhetoric.

So their opinions are shallow and maleable.

No surprise there.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 15, 2009 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Even my old dad was saying nice things about Obama back in January. "Margaret, who am I to argue with 65 million people," he said.

He hates him again now, so MY universe is back in order.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | October 15, 2009 6:11 PM | Report abuse

And if Hillary had to account for unemployment and the economy, and Obama got to take credit for a positive, nearly costless shift in foreign policy, who do you think would be more popular? A truly trivial and pointless poll if ever there was one.

Posted by: Eugene6 | October 15, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Wow cc. The terrible twins cf8 and drivl have really done a number on your traffic. This extreme leftism is also sinking NBC and msnbc and the nytimes. It is not only loony, it is distasteful as the ratings clearly show. Is there a vaccine available?

Posted by: snowbama | October 15, 2009 5:11 PM | Report abuse

It's the inevitable difference between being a candidate for president and actually being the president.

When will that part kick in?

I'm still paying all my own bills.

Posted by: snowbama | October 15, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

PUBLIC OPTION + FED-BACKED 'GRASSROOTS GESTAPO' TAKEDOWN = OBAMA POLL REBOUND


If Obama shows some courage, embraces the public option and takes down the Bush-Cheney legacy "Grassroots Gestapo" and its nationwide microwave/laser radiation "directed energy" weapons system that is torturing and degrading the lives of unjustly "targeted" U.S. citizens, his poll numbers will shoot up accordingly.

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

Posted by: scrivener50 | October 15, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Any Republican who had high hopes for Obama just wasn't paying attention during the campaign. The man is a tax and spend liberal and always has been. He is very strong for children's rights as long as they are not inconsiderate enough to be inconveniently in the womb. He is a patriot except when it means actually having to defend this country.

==

Next time you feel like stringing together a line of clichés, why don't you do it with beads instead.

Then you'll end up with something potentially useful.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 15, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Penazoid, so you're saying that "a stunning 60 percent of self-identified GOPers" weren't paying attention during the campaign?

Posted by: nodebris | October 15, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Any Republican who had high hopes for Obama just wasn't paying attention during the campaign. The man is a tax and spend liberal and always has been. He is very strong for children's rights as long as they are not inconsiderate enough to be inconveniently in the womb. He is a patriot except when it means actually having to defend this country.

All of that was crystal clear during the campaign but people were just too addlebrained to see it.

Posted by: Penazoid | October 15, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

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