Free Markets, Free People

Obama myth of a strong and decisive leader finally meets reality

I’m not sure why a majority of America once did consider Obama a strong and decisive leader, but then there are a lot of things I can’t explain.  But Gallup’s latest poll makes it clear than President Obama is no long considered a strong and decisive leader, at least for the moment:

After six messy weeks — defined chiefly by the partial government shutdown and troubled rollout of the federal government’s healthcare exchange website — President Barack Obama’s reputation with the American public has faltered in some ways, but not in others. Most notably, for the first time in his presidency, fewer than half of Americans, 47%, say Obama is a “strong and decisive leader,” down six percentage points since September.

The current spin coming from the White House and Democrats says this is all a cumulative bump in the road that had to be suffered.  The disastrous ObamaCare rollout, the government shutdown, the perceived lie about keeping one’s healthcare insurance if they wanted it have all, as Obama’s favorite preacher would say  have “come home to roost”.

The question, however, isn’t when will this pass, but whether it will pass at all?  Is this just a bump in the road for the Obama team or is it the “new normal” for him?

There’s no question the trend in his approval ratings the past few months have been anything but encouraging.  One thing politicians have learned throughout the ages that they’re unlikely to keep their job if they lose the trust of their constituency.  There’s obviously very little reason for Obama to be concerned about losing his job, however, loss of trust now, barely into his second term, could mean his second term agenda is all but dead on arrival.  His desire to push immigration reform and climate change legislation wouldn’t even get our of the starting gate.  That’s because other politicians, the ones he needs to get the job done for him, will have no fear of defying his wishes and facing the wrath of the people.

So how has Mr. Obama’s trustworthiness done?  Not well:

Similarly, the share of Americans who view Obama as “honest and trustworthy” has dipped five points. Exactly half of Americans still consider Obama honest and trustworthy, but this is down from 55% in September and 60% in mid-2012 as Obama was heading toward re-election.

He’s at 50% and sinking.  And you’ve got other Democrats taking the lead in trying to fix the ObamaCare debacle while he seems to be doing what he usually does – dither.

The hit, then, to both his trustworthiness and decisiveness are a bit of a double whammy to his ambitious agenda.  And it may not be recoverable as Gallup points out:

Of more concern for the White House, Obama’s once-positive image as a strong and decisive leader has suffered, in addition to his longtime reputation for being honest and trustworthy. Of these, the decline in Obama’s honesty rating may be the most noteworthy because Gallup has previously found that this dimension is one of the most important drivers of his overall job approval. Thus, the recent controversy over whether the president honestly described Americans’ ability to retain their own healthcare plans under the Affordable Care Act could have the most significant implications for his presidency.

As Insty would say, indeed.  Taking hits in decisiveness and trustworthiness are not hits you shrug off.  They represent core qualities or a lack thereof and once lost, they’re very hard to regain. Mr. Obama is seen more and more to be  lacking those qualities.  That doesn’t bode will for him in the next 3 years.


34 Responses to Obama myth of a strong and decisive leader finally meets reality

  • Matt Yglesias:

    Rather than (foolishly) try to ensure that nobody could ever lose their insurance, the actual Affordable Care Act accelerated the demise of a certain class of plan. Politically, that’s now an embarrassment for the White House. Substantively, it’s a huge achievement.

    Well. That lie that Pres. ScamWOW told you…
    it was only for your own good.
    According to goose-stepping lil’ Collectivist totalitarians.

    • I assume that any new versions of Lies and the Lying Lairs Who Tell Them” by Al Franken will include a new chapter exclusively covering Mr. Obama.

  • McQ-
    Can you say “Executive Order”?
    Because this lawless POTUS will be calling that particular play from the playbook often going forward. And those don’t need debate, or votes to pass.

  • It gets even better:

    Obama has lost Europe.  What fantastic leadership!

    • (Giggle, eye-roll, hand-wave)
      Your pronounce ODS is leading you to buy into an ideologically extreme misunderstanding.
      Pres. Dreamy (PBUH) has handled all relationships with deft-a-tude.  You simply cannot comprehend the dreamy deftness because you have lost your mind, and fail to see the wonderful successes we have had all over the world.  WAY better than that BOOOOOOoooo fellow, who I totally supported in the final year of his presidency when we had beat him to death.  The U.S. is finally acting like the nation of losers it should have acted like all along.  We are at last learning we are just another crummy nation in hte family of crummy nations, and accepting our place.
      The Europeans…who are SOOOO much more advanced than we are…simply love Pres. Dreamy for his powerful, studly leadership around the globe.
      The Asians, too.  And the Arab youth are TOTALLY in love with him.  You can read their comments all over Twitter and Facebook.  LOVE him!
      Just forget all that stuff you read from the WSJ and other OBS obsessed sources like that.  You should be reading TPM and Media Mutters for all your talking points…er, news…like all the really qualified European experts who teach at obscure community colleges.

      • Geez, Rags.  It may be open season on Maine professors, but it’s unsportsmanlike to bait them 🙂

      • Obama has lost Russia too. (not to mention Putin playing him on Syria) …

        If the U.S. national debt continues to grow, the collapse of the dollar system will take place in 2017,” said Mr. Degtyarev, a member of the nationalist Liberal Democrat Party who was a losing candidate in Moscow’s recent mayoral election.
        “The countries that will suffer the most will be those that have failed to wean themselves off their dependence on the dollar in time. In light of this, the fact that confidence in the dollar is growing among Russian citizens is extremely dangerous.”

  • 50% STILL BELIEVE HIM?????? – how in the hell does THAT happen?
    Never mind never mind…I know, I know…..I uh, lost my head there for a minute thinking the American public pays attention to….uh…..anything that really frikken matters.

    • Really ?  Belief and leadership are some of those traits that are amorphous and don’t measure well.
      Just assume 50% to be the normal (most people divide evenly on this type of stuff). 
      When it tacts off of 50% in either direction, that is significant.

    • His personal support is a house of (race) cards.
      Remember…cascade failure.

    • Amazing, isn’t it.

  • The GOP should not get behind the “if you like your plan keep your plan” legislation.
    Don’t get involved, even a drop.
    Don’t give the media even a figleaf to yell that this is the GOPs fault.
    The only legislation they should be offering is “repeal”
    This is the Dems sh*t sandwich. Let them choke it down. Then in next Nov. we’ll be sure to cram it down.

    • Leave it to the GOP to patch over this disaster to the Democrat’s benefit and making themselves involved enough to be blamed for the failure.

  • While flipping channels through Fox News, I heard Juan Williams trying to spin the lie as not a lie, because Obama was not talking to the minority that will lose their insurance or doctor, but to the majority that get to keep their policy and doctor.
    I wonder if that is the new talking point.

  • WASHINGTON – President Obama announced Thursday he would offer an administrative “fix” to a provision in the Affordable Care Act – or ObamaCare- that forces millions of Americans to lose their existing health coverage by directing insurance companies to allow affected policy holders to renew their old coverage.
    The president said states and insurers can extend current policies canceled under health law for a year.

    Which is ALL OF…
    1. an illegal diktat, and
    2. impossible in the real world.  Insurance companies cannot just eat all that expense, and
    3. so cynically political (a year gets you past the elections) that even the MOST committed bung-suckers for the Collective won’t be able to ignore it.
    Right, Erp…???

    • Well, except for that 5 million who have already had their coverage axed…..
      and except in those states where some insurers are no longer providing coverage….
      and ‘this policy diktat is good until it isn’t’.   The last to occur in December 2014 when we hear ‘what we meant was you could keep your old policy until it became obvious we weren’t going to lose the 2014 midterm because you believe me when I lie to you’.
      America as an abused spouse married to  “let me be clear, I promise it will never happen again, period!” Obama.

    • “You can keep your plan until after the mid-term elections!”

  • The Hillerrich & Bradsby/Louisville Slugger of reality is finally hitting some right upside the head.

  • What does it matter.  In what they’ve accomplished with Obamacare they can lose Washington for 4-8 years again and still be ahead, especially when its these republicans they lose to.
    For example, you might have a guy who is angry with the fact his premiums+deductible went from $5000 to $12,000 / year.  But who is more likely to support full socialization?  A guy paying $5,000 or a guy that’s now paying $7,000 more  a year.  So when the Democrats come in offering ‘singlepayer’ and the republicans offer a short stall at best, the wait of the $7,000 is going to win out over any left over anger he may have for the Democrats.