President Obama’s poll numbers have begun to trend downward again. Even as his general approval rating remains in the mid 50s, for the first time since Obama took office, fewer than half of Americans agree with the president on issues important to them. According to a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll, 51 percent now disagree with the president. Obama has seen a loss of support from Republicans as well as Independents on the issue of the war in Afghanistan but it is his leadership or lack thereof, on issues of concern to Liberals and Progressives that is now causing a loss of support within the Democratic Party as well.
Many are upset by Obama’s understated advocacy on issues ranging from health care reform to gay rights. Tens upon thousands of gay Americans and straight supporters recently marched in protest on Washington D.C. against our continuing inequality and the slow pace of enacting the many promises the president made to the LGBT community. New York Congressman Anthony Weiner (a well known advocate for LGBT equality) is a leading liberal critic of the president’s leadership in the battle for health care reform and the fight for a public health insurance option. The Congressman has said that Obama has failed to lead and that the Obama administration is “half-pregnant” with health insurers and pharmaceutical companies and that this relationship could jeopardize any chance at real reform.
And in an odd bit of post election role-reversal, the most popular person in the Obama administration is not the president, nor even his popular first lady, Michelle Obama. That honor goes to the Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. A very impressive sixty-five percent of Americans now view Hillary favorably. (Obama photo: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP. Weiner photo: Stephen Stirling)