“The fallout has led to questions about the president’s effectiveness, his resolve and his general ability to lead, at home and abroad.”
For The Washington Post, Juliet Eilperin and David Nakamura report: The week after his reelection, President Obama was a man full of promise and promises: His job-approval rating stood at 54 percent, the 2010 tea party wave that had knocked his first term off balance appeared to have receded, and he seemed as sober about the future as he was hopeful.
“The wreckage of 2013 had similar effects on the combatants: The president’s approval ratings took a nose dive, and Congress’s were even worse. Gallup reported that 42 percent of the public approved of Obama’s performance as the new year dawned.”
“With respect to the issue of mandate, I’ve got one mandate . . . to help middle-class families and families that are working hard to try to get into the middle class,” he said at a news conference in the East Room of the White House in November 2012. Obama acknowledged the dangers of “presidential overreach in second terms,” but he put forward an expansive, legacy-building agenda: a major fiscal deal, immigration reform and action on climate change.
“Every decision that has been made has been based on political calculation. You live by the political sword, you die by it.”
Two bruising years later, he has registered progress only on addressing climate change, and a president who once boasted of a barrier-breaking liberal coalition is under fire from his own party as his Republican rivals are poised to make gains in Tuesday’s midterm elections. Read the rest of this entry »
Obama will be a lame duck president. Voters will have rebuked him and his policies. He’s pissed. How much damage will he do? As much as he can get away with
Philip Klein writes: No matter what the exact outcome of Tuesday’s elections, there is little doubt that President Obama will come out of it wounded.
Whether or not Republicans take over the Senate, they will certainly gain seats. Even if Democrats manage to eke out a victory that maintains narrow control of the chamber, it will only be because their candidates in close races did everything they could to distance themselves from Obama.
“…the relationship between the Obama and Netanyahu administrations ‘is now the worst it’s ever been, and it stands to get significantly worse after the November midterm elections’.”
Either way, Obama will be a lame duck president. Voters will have rebuked him and his policies. He won’t have the ability to pass major legislation, and the focus of the political world will quickly turn to candidates vying to replace him.
But being a lame duck president isn’t the same as being without power. On issues including healthcare, environmental policy, immigration, and national security, Obama has already displayed a willingness to bypass Congress to pursue his goals.
“Obama has already caved in to the Iranians on uranium enrichment, plutonium development, and its missile program. And the New York Times has reported that if a final agreement with Iran is reached, Obama ‘will do everything in his power to avoid letting Congress vote on it’.”
If there were anything holding him back up to this point, it was either that he was facing re-election or he was somewhat hesitant to weaken Democratic chances in an election year that would determine the composition of Congress during his last two years in office.
But his name won’t be on the ballot in 2016 and he won’t have to deal with the Congress that gets elected that year, either. This means he has every reason to take more aggressive executive actions.
“Uh umm, you give me this office and in turn my, fears, doubts, insecurities, foibles, need for sleep, family life, vacations, leisure is gone. I am giving myself to you.“
Full in-context video here
Who knew? Negative views of Bambi? But he’s a celebrity. How can you not approve?
Negative views of President Obama have hit a new high
The AP-GfK poll shows 59 percent of Americans now disapprove of Obama — a point higher than the previous high set in December.
Obama’s approval rating stands at 41 percent. That’s the second-lowest figure the poll has ever found.
Part of Obama’s problems appear to be related to foreign policy: The poll shows Americans disapprove of his handling of the situation in Ukraine 57-40 and disapprove of how he handles relationships with other countries 58-40.
Telegraph Piles on: Barack Obama is heading for a humiliating defeat over Syria: this will be a massive blow to his presidencyPosted: September 6, 2013
President Obama’s Syrian campaign is in jeopardy
Politico has an eye-opening piece today revealing the extent to which the White House is staring defeat in the face over Syria. According to the influential Washington-based publication, President Obama doesn’t have the votes in the House of Representatives to secure a win, with large-scale opposition among Republicans, and lukewarm backing among Democrats:
If the House voted today on a resolution to attack Syria, President Barack Obama would lose — and lose big. That’s the private assessment of House Republican and Democratic lawmakers and aides who are closely involved in the process. If the Senate passes a use-of-force resolution next week — which is no sure thing — the current dynamics suggest that the House would defeat it. Read the rest of this entry »
President Obama said in Sweden today that he personally “didn’t set a red line” on Syria:
“First of all, I didn’t set a red line,” said Obama. “The world set a red line. The world set a red line when governments representing 98 percent of the world’s population said the use of chemical weapons are [inaudble] and passed a treaty forbidding their use, even when countries are engaged in war. Congress set a red line when it ratified that treaty. Congress set a red line when it indicated that in a piece of legislation entitled the Syria Accountability Act that some of the horrendous things happening on the ground there need to be answered for. So, when I said in a press conference that my calculus about what’s happening in Syria would be altered by the use of chemical weapons, which the overwhelming consensus of humanity says is wrong, that wasn’t something I just kind of made up. I didn’t pluck it out of thin air. There’s a reason for it.”
And here’s video of Obama setting a “red line” in regard to Syria, from over a year ago:
And here’s a background call in April 2013 with “a White House official” that left no doubt about what President Obama’s own officials thought about where the red line came from:
We go on to reaffirm that the President has set a clear red line as it relates to the United States that the use of chemical weapons or the transfer of chemical weapons to terrorist groups is a red line that is not acceptable to us, nor should it be to the international community. It’s precisely because we take this red line so seriously that we believe there is an obligation to fully investigate any and all evidence of chemical weapons use within Syria.
…it is absolutely the case that the President’s red line is the use of chemical weapons…
And this one is especially devastating:
And the people in Syria and the Assad regime should know that the President means what he says when he set that red line. And keep in mind, he is the one who laid down that marker. He’s the one who directed that we provide this information to the public. And he’s the one who directed that we do everything we can to further investigate this information so that we can establish in credible, corroborated, factual basis what exactly took place.
Source: Drudge, The Weekly Standard
“…With the failure of the Democrats’ attempt to exploit the Newtown school shooting to press forward gun control measures, President Obama took to the microphones along with the relatives of Sandy Hook victims to demonize his opposition. This, of course, was his strategy all along: knowing that he did not have 60 votes in the Democrat-controlled Senate to pass his gun control legislation, he pressed forward anyway, hoping to paint Republicans as intransigent, immoral tools of the gun lobby who don’t care about dead children. After demonizing Republicans, Obama hopes, he can press Americans into voting Democrats back into power in the House of Representatives…”