Free Markets, Free People

With Osama bump fading, Obama faced with reality of bad economy

Osama bin Laden is dead and President Obama has received a bump in the polls for the successful operation that took him out.  That’s both deserved and expected.  But what’s unknown is how long that bump will last or whether or not the bump is really that important.

I’d say it won’t last long and that while it isn’t unimportant, it isn’t enough to carry him through 2012 and the election.  The most important issue Obama will have to overcome for re-election is the economy.  And right now, the economy sucks.   As a result, so do his poll numbers on the issue:

Just a third of Americans believe the country is headed in the right direction; less than four in 10 approve of Obama’s handling of the U.S. economy; and nearly 70 percent think the economy will get worse or stay the same in the next year.

As we all know, the economy is a complex issue and opinions of how good it is often come down to how an individual is faring or how his friends and acquaintances are.  It comes down to basic pocket-book issues such as costs, wages, jobs.  If the unemployment rate still hovers around 9%, given the promise that they’d keep it under 8% with the stimulus, then the administration is going to have some hard questions to answer.

It’s still very early to make predictions about the presidential race, especially with the dearth of worthwhile candidates on the GOP side, but history has not been kind to incumbent presidents in office when there has been an economic downturn of any magnitude and length.  This particular one is one of the worst, and the “I inherited it” mantra has no traction anymore.

But as a baseline from which to compare where the numbers go in the future, the poll is useful:

Looking ahead to next year’s presidential election, 45 percent said they would probably vote for Obama (a two-point rise from April), versus 30 percent who would probably vote for the eventual Republican nominee (an eight-point decrease).

The GOP’s decrease is well-deserved given the emerging field.  It’s a signal guys – heed it.  As for Obama, the most he can muster, post Osama, is a 45% plurality, which would tell anyone he’s vulnerable.  But the GOP numbers say he’s only going to be vulnerable to a worthwhile candidate and so far voters aren’t seeing one.

The obvious issue for next year – well, are you better off today than you were four years ago?

Only 37 percent approve of the president’s handling of the economy, while 58 percent disapprove.

Also, just 31 percent believe the economy will improve in the next 12 months, compared with 43 percent who think it will stay the same and another 25 percent who say it will get worse.

These economic numbers, GOP pollster McInturff says, underscore the “tremendous anchor the economy is to the president’s job standing.”

It’s not an “anchor” its an albatross.  While good marks on foreign policy, even if temporary, help Obama, the economy is the key.   And the GOP has all the ammunition in the world to keep that albatross around Obama’s neck.   But bottom line, or so it appears, no viable candidate, no presidency and so far the voters don’t at all seem impressed with the same old names that are joining the battle on the Republican side.


Twitter: @McQandO


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41 Responses to With Osama bump fading, Obama faced with reality of bad economy

  • What Obama fears most is what he DOESN’T see yet. I’d wager the GOP nominee, whoever he or she may be, probably hasn’t even popped up on the radar screen yet. Look for a “Draft Ryan” campaign to pick up steam. The guy has a mild demeanor, is razor-sharp, and has iron teeth behind his smile. Ryan would crush Obama in a head-to-head debate…and Obama knows it too. 

  • Here’s how to understand the duration of the Osama bump: You’re a racist, Bruce, for questioning the eternal flame produced by this bump. Osama will always be dead, and Obama will have always killed him. You’re a racist if you don’t understand that and refuse to give Barack credit. The SEAL team was a mere instrument of his will, and his will is strong, like Van Helsing’s. And George Bush is to blame for the economy, and you’re a racist for trying to make Barack responsible for it. That’s like trying to blame slaves for the Civil War. Barack got Osama and he will now save the economy and he’s the only leader who did the first and the only one who can do the second, and you’re a racist if you don’t admit it.

    • The mark of a failed domestic policy is a President turning to foreign policy to make his legacy.

      • “The mark of a failed domestic policy is a President turning to foreign policy to make his legacy.”
        Yeah, if you can call it ‘policy’ to finish off the guy who plotted the largest terrorist attack on US soil ever.

      • Failed domestic policy? Racist!

      • He got healthcare through and huge stimulus to unions…I don’t think that’s a failure. (well in some sense they are, because they failed to work, but from a political angle, I don’t think they are failures.)

        • I know you ain’t stupid Harun, but to steal the Clinton campaign slogan  – “it’s the economy….”
          They can’t have thought the “I got Osama” theme was worth anything at this stage in the Presidential pseudo campaign and only went forward with it because they had to (same reason he HAD to give the order to either bomb or assault the Bin Fishfood compound).
          They needed this in August-September, preferably October of 2012.

          • I agree on the Osama issue, and I agree that they’d like to have a better economy, but they thought their policies would achieve it, and  as they are liberals, they think they did some good. So in their minds, they aren’t failures, and in the minds of their base they aren’t, either.

          • ” and in the minds of their base they aren’t, either.”
            Amazing isn’t it?

      • Obama: In A Time Of 9% Unemployment, I Call On Congress To Legalize Millions Of New Low Wage, Unskilled Workers. Oh And I’d Really Like Hispanics To Think I’m Serious About This And Vote For Me Next Year
        President Gutsy Call has to hit all the Democratic “hot buttons”

    • I completely agree with you, Martin! So nice to see you laying out the issues so clearly, and taking to task the inbred, sterile, Nazi-like posters here.

      It’s almost as if you had studied political science and gotten an advanced degree, degree, degree, degree, degree, degree, degree [*** SEGMENTATION FAULT ON CREDENTIAL FLOUTING SUBROUTINE – PROGRAM RESTART INITIATED ***]

  • Never, Never, NEVER underestimate the ability of the GOP establishment to f**k up a “gimme”.

    I will bet you that the eventual GOP will be a milquetoast non-entity (think Mitch Daniels), a thoroughly corrupt and compromised good ol’ boy (think Newt Gingrich), or a reasonable facsimile of a weathervane (think Mitt Romney).

    I will also bet good money that the GOP will lose the 2012 Presidential election.

    They can’t help themselves: they’re a bunch of spineless fools.

    • I am betting on Romney. He will run, but can’t attack Obamacare, so he will lose the base. Sounds perfect.
      Oh, and why can’t he just admit his mistake? “We tried Obamacare years ago and it failed. So, why are we trying it again.”
      But no, that would make way too much sense.

      • I totally agree with you Harun. But he’s planning a “major speech on healthcare” on Thursday. Maybe he’ll own up to it and admit the mistake.

        • Actually, if he turns against it, he can make a lemon into political lemonade for sure. How is Obama going to tout his policy when Romney says “We already did that and look, its not working.”

      • I’m betting Christie will see the light about August/September of this year when we’re still swirling around the bowl and the press and liberal entertainment has done it’s usual efficient job of savaging the Republican nominees and peddling the moonpony/unicorn feces ice cream that IS the Obama campaign.

        • Christie is smart to put it off. Why make a move now, and allow the Dems more time to gaffe you.
          Just hold off. Let Obama make some dumb mistakes. Let the GOP field dither around and attack Obama. The GOP field is so weak, Christie doesn’t need to worry about them much.
          And, also, since he’s not a SoCon, he wants to come in late before the SoCons have too much time to get upset and have second thoughts.

          • I think Trump did some yeoman’s work in rubbing off some of Obama’s media teflon.

          • Trump pretty much brought the “birther” thing to it’s natural conclusion.

  • The GOP’s decrease is well-deserved given the emerging field.  It’s a signal guys – heed it.

    >>> Not sure if this really fair poll at this point since to the public at large the “emerging field” consists of Palin, Trump  Romney and some guy called Ryan Plan, who wants to kill granny and her kitties.

    The GOP has some solid choices to tap, but we’ll see how it shakes out.  Mitch Daniels, Jindal, etc don’t get the blood pumping but maybe that’s a good thing for this election

    • Ron Johnson (new senator from Wisconsin)-Marco Rubio ticket runs the table.

      Johnson was a novice last fall, beating Russ Feingold going away for his “safe seat.” He’s an entrepreneur, great personality, a fighter, and normal. Lines right up on the issues of the Republican coalition. Hates Obamacare. Understands how rotten it is.

      With Rubio as VP candidate they role in Wisconson, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida.

      That’s the White House. But everyone is too busy searching for a Republican winner to consider a Republican winner.

  • What’s more, the economy CANNOT much improve with the factors in play right now.
    This is just cause >>>> effect.
    EVERYTHING being done at the moment is ANTI-capitalist.  I know of nothing that runs against that trend.

  • [L]ess than four in 10 approve of Obama’s handling of the U.S. economy; and nearly 70 percent think the economy will get worse or stay the same in the next year.

    Hence the start of a national “two minute hate” against the oil companies.  Gotta establish that THEY are to blame for high prices and high unemployment, not Captain Bullsh*t.  Indeed, CNN is already running polls about this to help establish the narrative.

    MikeNever, Never, NEVER underestimate the ability of the GOP establishment to f**k up a “gimme”… They can’t help themselves: they’re a bunch of spineless fools.

    It’s worst than that.  The GOP doesn’t fundamentally disagree with many democrat policies; the only difference is that the GOP doesn’t want quite so much welfare or raises taxes on “the rich” quite so high.  They’ve adapted to electoral realities: since the end of the Cold War, they can’t really run on national defense, and a plurality (majority?) of the American people really think that Uncle Sugar should be in the business of taking care of everybody.  How do you cater to that belief in order to win votes?  By telling perspective voters how you’ll “take care of them”.  Hence RomneyCare: the people of Taxachusetts said that Boston should provide health care to everybody, and politician Romney said, “Elect me and I’ll make it happen!”

    • Hating on the oil companies isn’t going to work, I think. People know about “drill baby drill.” They know about QE I & II. I think only the hard core democrats and some of the dumber left-leaning independents would fall for it.

      • Most folks couldn’t tell the recent QE II from the boat moored at Port Rashid

      • I’m afraid that Harun is right.  I’d wager that many – perhaps most – Americans have only the haziest idea of the gas tax rates in their state and so think that all of the money they pay to fill up their car goes to swell the huge profits of Big Oil.  They may have some idea that government policy is involved, but only to the extent that Uncle Sugar gives the oil companies big tax breaks because the oil companies buy off members of Congress.  In short, if the price of gas is “too high”, it’s SOLELY the oil companies’ fault for being greedy.

        • Actually, you think I am wrong. I think a lot of people do know about our gas taxes and oil policies.
          I am sure there are people who do not, and who think we could just tax the oil companies, but I don’t get that vibe that much from people.

          • I mean, they saw gas go up, up, up, and then down, down, down, and now back up.
            If the oil companies were in charge, wouldn’t they always stay “up?”

          • Yes, you’re right about me being wrong about you being right (!).  I should have written “Neo“.

            My apologies to all concerned.

  • I think the key thing about the OBL raid is that it takes away the argument that Obama is weak on foreign policy–at least until it is eclipsed by other foreign policy events. And we have lots of time for such events, given the way theings are playing out.

    One point I see being made is that this shows that Obama is not Jimmy Carter II. But Carter also had the balls to pull the trigger on a similar, even more daring raid, but it was one that didn’t work out well. The Desert One failure does not belong to Carter for the most part (maybe partially for underfunding the military), but the OBL raid’s success does not belong to Obama for the most part. Of course, blame and credit go according to results, not actual culpability due to actual causation.

    • Does anybody really think that Obama can walk back the whole Libya thing.
      While UBL is dead and in the Arabian Sea, this Libya thing lingers on.

      • AND now Europe, as NATO, is bombing Q-daffy’s compound.  I guess THAT form of ‘assassination’ is okay with the Euros.

      • What is this “Libya thing” of which you speak?  Never heard of it…  Is it another of Bush’s illegal wars for oil?

        / sarc

      • I’m not sure Libya is a big deal. It is kinda like Clinton’s war in Kosovo. I think the administration will back out of it, not hard to do without boots on the ground. There will be peoople who pay attention and draw conclusions from the whole thing, but the vast majority of American voters will forget about it. Obama won’t get the blame when Libya goes Muslim Brotherhood or when Gadaffi goes back to terrorism realizing the US is, once again, a paper tiger.

        • Libya is tiny. 6 million people. We will win it pretty soon. The rebels don’t need that much help to be much better than Gadaffy’s people and the airstrikes are hurting the pro-regime cronies who were just in it for money. I give Libay 6-9 months MAX before its over.

    • IF the raid had failed, it would have just be another poor lead probably like countless others. 

      Relations with Pakistan was the only downside to this and as posted by Bruce earlier, perhaps even that wasn’t that hard a choice. 

      • Depends how it failed. But realistically, Obama had no choice. Post 9/11 no POTUS could pass over nailing Osama.