Pay no attention to the flood of words from Obama tonight. Obama words are meaningless. There will be tons of excuses and blaming of George W. Bush. Obama will pretend to dislike his rich banker pals and pretend to defend “the people”.
Antoin “Tony” Rezko will listen and smile from his cell then remember the good old days with Barack and the freezing tenants.
John “Are you my daddy?” Edwards will fume in exile as he recalls Obama voting against already high interest rate caps of 30% while pretending to be a champion of the poor and middle class against banks and credit card companies (Obama’s 2nd largest donor bloc).
Big Media, as usual, will sanctify Obama’s words like holy relics.
Mary Todd Michelle Obama will primp herself in some sort of outfit and scowl at anyone who gets more attention than herself.
Airline Pilot Chesley B. Sullenberger will by his very presence remind the nation of the value of experience. When a craft is in trouble, whether it is the ship of state or an airline plane, an experienced hand at the wheel is not only desired – it is desperately needed.
TelePrompters will televise Obama’s need for coaching and crutches.
Senator Roland Burris will remind the nation of the corrupt Chicago air in which Obama thrived.
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Big Media will (we write this in advance of the speech) think Obama is a “real cool Clyde”. The speech will be praised one of the best, a “home run”, “inspirational”, absolutely “astonishing”, “pitch perfect”. Big Media will say Obama is “in command”. Big Media will say Obama is [insert superlative, superlative].
The American people, those watching the show anyway, will be entertained but hardly convinced.
There are a couple of data points worth keeping in mind as we await President Obama’s address to the nation tonight – and as we digest an aide’s claim today, as Jake Tapper reports, that his strong approval rating is “earned.” One, while his rating is high, it’s also dead average for a new president. The other is the impressive partisanship beneath it.
We have approval ratings for each of the last nine elected presidents after their first month in office, back to Dwight Eisenhower. (We’re leaving Johnson and Ford aside.) There’s been a healthy range, from a low of 55 percent for George W. Bush after the disputed election of 2000 to a high of 76 percent for his father 12 years earlier. (I’m using ABC/Post polls since Reagan, Gallup previously).
But the average? Sixty-seven percent. And Obama’s? Sixty-eight percent, as we reported in our new poll yesterday. His initial rating, then, is strong – but it’s also generally typical for a new guy.
All the Big Media hype, all the magazine covers, all the hoop-te-do and the results are merely average. As reality bites, Republicans and Democrats will return to their partisan corners on the boxing stage and independents will cast the deciding votes.
An increasing factor, though, is partisanship. [snip]
Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush were the last two presidents of the less-partisan era. Reagan started with 89 percent approval among Republicans, 71 percent among independents and 56 percent among Democrats. Bush’s first-month approval ratings from these groups were 90, 74 and 64 percent, respectively. Those are 18- and 33-point gaps for Reagan, 16- and 26-point gaps for Bush.
That changed with Bill Clinton: He started with 86 percent approval from Democrats, but just 59 percent from independents and 40 percent from Republicans – gaps of 27 and 46 points, respectively. Then George W. Bush – 86 percent in his party, but dropping to 54 percent among independents (-32 points) and 37 percent among Democrats, 49 points lower than in his political base.
And now there’s Obama, who’s made reaching across party lines a point of principle in his presidency, with little to show for it so far. After a month in the hot seat, 90 percent of Democrats approve of his work, dropping to 67 percent of independents and 37 percent of Republicans.
Gallup, does not show Obama is the future either. In fact, Gallup has Obama going back to the doowop age: the Fifties.
For the first time since Gallup began tracking Barack Obama’s presidential job approval rating on Jan. 21, fewer than 60% of Americans approve of the job he is doing as president. In Feb. 21-23 polling, 59% of Americans give Obama a positive review, while 25% say they disapprove, and 16% have no opinion.
To date, Obama has averaged 64% approval, but, as the graph shows, there has been a slight but perceptible decline in his approval rating since he took office. This decline has largely occurred among Republicans.
The drop below 60% approval within the past week — from 63% in Feb. 18-20 polling to 59% in Feb. 21-23 polling — has mostly come among independents. Late last week, 62% of independents approved of Obama, compared with 54% in the last three days. His approval rating among Democrats has dipped slightly (but not to a statistically significant degree), while approval among Republicans has not changed.
Republicans already can’t stand him, independents are getting on the life rafts. Soon the grassroots Democrats will wake up to what Dimocrat Obama is really like. Obama better enjoy the fifties, it’s way cooler than the 20s.