At the end of Obama’s fifth month in the highest office in the U.S., the honeymoon of President Barack Obama and the American people continues. There are, however, some clouds on the horizon that could possibly develop into a thunderstorm.
Appreciation for Obama as a person is much greater than for many of his policies. Americans approve of his handling of the economic crisis less than before and worry that he has no clear plan to reduce the budget deficit. The American public also considers it irresponsible to bailout of the major car companies.
Nevertheless, Obama remains personally popular. Three quarters of Americans like the President, including a quarter of those who do not agree with his policies. That is much better than his two predecessors, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, at the same time in their presidencies.
Furthermore, President Obama may still get high approval ratings on a number of other important areas. According to a study conducted by CBS/New York Times, 59 % of Americans support his foreign policy and the way he combats terrorism, although a majority does not support his plan to close Guantanamo. Additionally, although half of Americans believe that torture is allowed under certain circumstances, the President has fiercely fought against it.
The Washington Post quoted a White House employee who said that it would be nice if George Bush would let himself be heard a bit more. Bush is currently working on his memoirs in Texas and avoiding the public spotlight. The silence of the former president has made it increasingly difficult for Obama to convince the American people that Bush is responsible for the problems that face America.
President Obama’s proposal for reforming health care, however, might affect his approval ratings with the American people. He had hoped to gain bipartisan support for this piece of legislation, but it does not appear that many Republicans will get on board with his plan. Finally, the Rasmussen polls show that the percentage of Americans who think that Obama is doing very badly is now a fraction higher than those who think he is doing very good.
About this publication
2009 cover of Elsevier
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