Obama’s second term is shaping up to be a disaster
The last few weeks have been among the worst of Barack Obama’s time in office, recalling earlier periods of turmoil for the president in 2010 and 2011, when his ratings also plummeted. In 2013, the situation is significantly worse for the White House, with the Obama administration engulfed in a series of major scandals (IRS persecution of conservative groups, the Benghazi debacle, and the Justice Department seizure of journalists’ phone records) that are not only eroding trust in government but also in the office of the president itself. This is undoubtedly a period of steep decline for the Obama presidency, whose imperial-style big government approach is being increasingly questioned not only by American voters, but also by formerly subservient sections of the liberal-dominated mainstream media. In contrast to his first term, Barack Obama is finding himself less and less shielded by the press, and far more vulnerable to public criticism.
With good reason, Americans don’t feel optimistic about their country’s future with President Obama at the helm. According to the RealClear Politics polling average, less than one in three Americans believe the United States is heading in the right direction. A new Economist/YouGov poll has the president’s job approval rating at just 46 percent, with 49 percent of Americans disapproving. Strikingly, 35 percent of Americans “strongly disapprove” of the president’s job performance, 15 points higher than the number who “strongly approve.” A mere 31 percent of Americans surveyed by YouGov believe the United States is “generally headed in the right direction.”
In addition to damaging scandals, which have raised major questions over the integrity and judgment of the Obama administration, there remain deep-seated concerns over the US economy and the enormous national debt, widespread opposition to the president’s health care reforms, and significant fears over national security. Barack Obama’s second term could not have started more badly for the “hope and change” president, who, with three and a half years in office remaining, looks more and more like a lame duck. Here are ten key reasons why the Obama presidency is in trouble, with the outlook exceedingly grim for the White House.
1. The American public is losing trust in Obama
A recent Quinnipiac survey found that less than half of Americans (49 percent) now view their president as “honest and trustworthy.” According to Quinnipiac, the series of recent scandals have begun to significantly dent the president’s standing with the American people, with his approval rating standing at just 45 percent. The IRS targeting of conservative groups has been particularly damaging, with 76 percent of voters supporting the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate the scandal, and a series of Congressional hearings putting the Obama administration on the spot. Another survey, by NBC News/The Wall Street Journal, reveals a great deal of public concern over the “overall honesty and integrity of the Obama administration,” with more than half of Americans agreeing that recent scandals have “raised doubts” about the government’s trustworthiness. 41 percent of Americans believe that President Obama himself is “totally” or “mainly” responsible for the government’s handling of Benghazi – just 19 percent believe he bears no responsibility. On the IRS issue, only 24 percent say the president is not responsible in any way, while a third of Americans think he is largely culpable.
2. The Obama presidency is imperial in style and outlook
Leading conservative talk radio host Mark Levin was absolutely right when he blasted Barack Obama on Fox News back in January as “an imperial president.” It would be hard to find a US president in recent times who has behaved in a more arrogant fashion than President Obama, and that includes Richard Nixon. The Obama White House is routinely disdainful of criticism, sneeringly dismissive of Congressional opposition, nasty and brutish towards dissenting voices in the media, and completely lacking in humility. Even veteran reporters such as Bob Woodward, one of two journalists who broke the Watergate scandal, have found themselves on the sharp end of the White House’s boot after publishing unflattering stories. Woodward was warned earlier this year by a senior White House official that he would “regret” his remarks about the president’s handling of the sequester issue. At the same time the Obama presidency exudes a shameless “let them eat cake” mentality, abundantly on display with the president’s lavish vacations and golfing expeditions while millions of American families have struggled to pay their mortgage and stay afloat against the backdrop in recent years of the biggest economic downturn since the Great Depression.
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