The latest from Real Clear Politics (click link for individual polling results):
CNN/Opinion Research where the drop was the second steepest since CNN began taking this measure of Obama's approval.
Coming in the wake of Obama's big Afghanistan speech, the results reflect a repudiation of Obama's Afghanistan policy but also his leadership style across the board.
One cartoon and two excellent commentaries frame Obama's problem:
Bam: Man in the muddleMona Charen picked up on that listening theme:
By MICHAEL GOODWIN
December 6, 2009
Perhaps it was inevitable. A man who voted "present" 130 times in the Illinois Legislature couldn't possibly morph into a savvy and decisive leader of the free world in such a short time.
Yet even the pessimists among us are alarmed by the cloud of uncertainty and confusion hanging over the White House. Less than a year on the job, President Obama seems to have run out of both charm and ideas.
The biggest issues facing a president are the economy and national security. They are the whole ballgame. Everything else is detail.
It is now frighteningly obvious Obama doesn't have a clear, understandable strategy on either.
It's one thing to lack confidence in a president's plan. It's quite another when he doesn't have a plan.
He began his hokey job summit by conceding many viewed it as a gimmick, then promptly confirmed those suspicions by saying it was time to put aside partisanship. This from the guy who gives blank checks and high praise to Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, the most partisan congressional leaders in recent memory.
Obama also said he was open to new ideas, then shot down a corporate executive who complained too many big-government initiatives were creating uncertainty and leading employers to hold off hiring.
The president said it was a "legitimate concern," then plunged ahead by rote to defend health care, carbon taxes and massive education spending -- the very things the exec said were the problem.
Why bother telling him anything? He doesn't listen to what he doesn't want to hear.
Does Obama Listen to Himself?
By Mona Charen
Real Clear Politics
December 4, 2009
Barack Obama is demonstrating bottomless reservoirs of gracelessness. A full 13 months after his election, in the course of justifying the deployment of 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan, President Obama could not spare a word of praise for George W. Bush -- not even when recounting the nation's "unified" response to 9/11. To the contrary, throughout his pained recitation of the choices we face in Afghanistan, he adverted at least half a dozen times to the supposed blunders of his predecessor.
It's beginning to sound whiny -- and unpresidential. Enough about the terrible mess he inherited. Let's hear a little more about the tremendous honor that has been bestowed on him. Ronald Reagan inherited a worse situation in 1980 -- inflation at 13.5 percent; the prime rate at 21 percent; the Soviets in Afghanistan; American hostages in Tehran; communist coups in 10 new countries over the previous decade -- but Reagan never impugned his predecessor. As biographer Lou Cannon noted "Reagan ... was generous to Carter in his public statements even though he did not care for him."
George W. Bush showed the same chivalry toward Bill Clinton, declining to breathe a negative word about him -- even when sorely tempted by the pardon scandal that further tarnished an already clouded tenure. Even now, despite the unremitting barrage from his successor, Bush keeps silent, true to his tradition of civility toward opponents.
President Obama is so spiteful that he warps history to fit his prejudices. Everything was going brilliantly in Afghanistan, he explains, until "the decision was made to wage a second war, in Iraq." Iraq took the lion's share of resources and ruined our international reputation, he argues. But in the next sentence, without acknowledging the surge (far less the courage Bush demonstrated in pursuing it despite tremendous political and military pressure against it), Obama boasts that "we are bringing the Iraq War to a successful conclusion" and "successfully leaving Iraq to its people."
Well, perhaps President Obama doesn't realize how he sounds. That must be it. He had the gall, after kneecapping Bush, to demand a halt to "rancor" and "partisanship." But the greater outrage was his pious declaration that "we must make it clear to every man, woman, and child around the world who lives under the dark cloud of tyranny that America will speak out on behalf of their human rights"? This from the man whose State Department told China early on that human rights were not our priority; who has decided he can deal with the butchers of Darfur; who averted his eyes from the bloody crackdown on protests in Iran; and who tamely permitted the Chinese to censor his words during his visit.
But there's no cause for self-examination. There's still George W. Bush to kick around.
Does Obama hope to unite Americans by constantly insulting the half of us who voted for Bush? Does Obama really think the American people will think better of HIM if he keeps blaming Bush for everything including his own weakness, incompetence and inability to lead?