Voters Are Rejecting the Last Seven YearsPosted: September 16, 2015
Michael Barone writes: in this presidential cycle, voters in both parties, to the surprise of the punditocracy, are rejecting experienced political leaders. They’re willfully suspending disbelief in challengers who would have been considered laughable in earlier years.
“In our system the widespread rejection of experienced leaders ultimately comes from dismay at the leader in the White House. In 1960 Richard Nixon, after eight years as vice president and six in Congress, campaigned on the slogan ‘Experience counts.’ No one is running on that theme this year.”
Polls show more Republicans preferring three candidates who have never held elective office over 14 candidates who have served a combined total of 150 years as governors or in Congress. Most Democrats are declining to favor a candidate who spent eight years in the White House and the Senate and four as secretary of state.
Psephologists of varying stripes attribute this discontent to varying causes. Conservatives blame insufficiently aggressive Republican congressional leaders. Liberals blame Hillary Clinton’s closeness to plutocrats and her home email system.
But in our system the widespread rejection of experienced leaders ultimately comes from dismay at the leader in the White House. In 1960 Richard Nixon, after eight years as vice president and six in Congress, campaigned on the slogan “Experience counts.” No one is running on that theme this year.
Nixon could, because over the preceding quarter-century the majority of Americans mostly approved of the performance of incumbent presidents. Presidents Roosevelt, Truman and Eisenhower still look pretty good more than 50 years later.
Barack Obama doesn’t. His deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes recently said that the president’s nuclear weapons deal with Iran was as important an achievement of his second term as Obamacare was of the first. Historians may well agree.
These two policy achievements have many things in common.
Both were unpopular when proposed and still are now. In March 2010 Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that people would know, and presumably like, what was in the bill after it was passed. But most Americans didn’t like it then and most don’t today, five and a half years later. As for the Iran deal, Pew Research reports it has only 21 percent approval today, much lower than Obamacare in 2010.
Both Obamacare and the Iran deal were bulldozed through Congress through legislative legerdemain….(read more)
- How Obama has fundamentally transformed politics (aei.org)
- ObamaCare’s Bill Comes Due: Premium Hikes Up to 36.3% Coming (lunaticoutpost.com)
- Do Liberals Support Any Part of the Constitution Anymore? (godfatherpolitics.com)
- Pelosi: Obama Put ‘Dazzling’ Pressure on Congress Over Iran Deal (pjmedia.com)
- Pelosi: The Constitution Is Dead (You Let Me Kill It) (theburningplatform.com)
- Obama then and now (powerlineblog.com)
- Pelosi Asks House Dems to Unite Against Obama (nationalreview.com)