Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Obama Tide Does Not Lift The Dem Boat

By TalkLeft's Big Tent Democrat TL

A few days ago in a comment thread, I was discussing President Obama's skills as a politician. My argument was, and is, that President Obama is a great politicians who has not applied his political skills to helping lift the Democratic Party's political fortunes nor to promoting his policies in a substantial way. The most recent WaPo poll supports my argument.

President Obama's approval rating is at 53%. In July is was at 59%. His personal popularity has been resilient. Unfortunately it has not translated into popularity for Democrats and Obama's policies. To be fair, it's not clear that Obama is doing any worse than the average President (his numbers are comparable to President Clinton's in early 1994.) But that is the point - in my view President Obama is capable of doing much better than the average President, especially given the conditions he inherited. Politically, President Obama has severely underperformed in his first year in my view.

There is a lesson here for Democrats in Congress - you are on your own - President Obama can not deliver for you politically (unless he is on the ballot.) This is one major reason why I have some hope that progressives in the House will buck the White House on the health bill and other issues. Right now, the White House has little to offer politically.

Speaking for me only