Sunday, June 21, 2009

Day 200: Obama's approval rating finally goes negative

Where's the 200-day headlines about President Obama's approval rating going into negative territory? There were none and I missed it until I ran across the latest chart and stole it from Gateway Pundit.
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Sunday shows that 32% of the nation's voters now Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Thirty-four percent (34%) Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -2. That’s the President’s lowest rating to date and the first time the Presidential Approval Index has fallen below zero for Obama (see trends).
And over at the Contentions blog at Commentary, there's another poll report that Israelis are finally waking up and smelling the coffee about whose side Obama is on. And it is not Israel's.

The White House is atwitter after a new poll revealed a dramatic shift among Israelis regarding the administration’s policies towards Israel. The poll, conducted by Smith Research and commissioned by the Jerusalem Post, shows that only 6% of Israelis consider Obama “pro-Israel,” while 50% see him as “pro-Palestinian.” Compare this with the same poll from a month earlier, in mid-May, which had 31% responding that the Obama Administration is pro-Israel, and just 14% saying pro-Palestinian. What has changed in the last month? Not much, other than Obama’s dramatic Cairo speech, which described Israel as the product of centuries of Jewish suffering and the Holocaust; and Netanyahu’s no less dramatic response, which described Israel as the product of thousands of years of Jewish attachment to their ancient homeland.

There is a political calculus for the President here: As much as American Jews may have supported Obama without caring too much about his record on Israel, at the end of the day, American Jews tend to care deeply about Israel, and their sense of what’s happening with Israel is highly informed by what Israelis think (or, at least, Israeli elites). In other words, so dramatically lopsided a view of American policy towards Israel will not be lost on American Jewish voters. Midterms are not that far off.

What's going on? Is the kool-aid wearing off? Are voters finally waking up from the November nightmare? I sure hope so. One reason for the shift in polls -- in addition to the biggest reason, which is Obama's own performance, or lack thereof, as President -- is the law of unintended consequences. Obama got elected on the "Bush did it!" strategy. And since taking office, he has continued the "Bush did it!" excuse for all the ills of the world and his own administration.

And guess what? Former Bush administration officials, President George W. Bush himself and even his mild-mannered father, President George H.W. Bush, have finally responded after former Vice President Dick Cheney showed the way. All I can say is it's about time.

The Washington Times tells us who's on first among the Bush administration members who have finally found their voice after Cheney led the charge.

It's not just former Vice President Dick Cheney.

As former President George W. Bush offered his first public - though veiled - criticisms of his successor's administration last week, a growing number of his senior aides and advisers are also speaking up to defend Mr. Bush's record and take on the Obama White House.

A few of them are marrying their insider's policy knowledge with modern technology to critique, in detail, President Obama's economic program.

The day Mr. Obama left for the Middle East earlier this month, former Bush official Tony Fratto launched a broadside against the White House claim that it had "created or saved" 150,000 jobs with economic-stimulus money.

"What causes the jaw to drop is not just the breathtaking deception of the claim, but the gullibility of the Washington press corps to continue reporting it," Mr. Fratto, an economist who served in the Treasury Department and the Bush White House press office, wrote on a blog run by CNBC, where he is now a paid contributor.

When Mr. Obama returned from his trip, the jobs "created or saved" claim was front and center. The White House message of the day - that the stimulus would "create or save" 600,000 more jobs in the next 100 days - ran into a public relations buzz saw.

Perhaps I was wrong when I predicted President Obama's "Bush did it!" strategy would work well enough to see him through his first term and into his second. I sure hope so. C'mon 2012! And perhaps we won't have to wait for the inauguration of President Sarah Palin's first term to see some "change you can believe in." Midterm elections in 2010 would be a fine time to take the reins of power from Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid and return it to the sick-and-tired voters.

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