Ronald Ayers

Posts Tagged ‘Obama’

For Obama, a sudden struggle with personal appeal

In Barak Obama, General News, Political News on November 4, 2013 at 7:50 pm
Hundreds of FBI employees gathered to hear Pre...

Hundreds of FBI employees gathered to hear President Barack Obama’s speech and greet him afterward during his visit to FBI headquarters. White House photographer Pete Souza is to Obama’s left. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


WASHINGTON (AP) — For years, President Barack Obama’s personal favorability ratings served as a political firewall that sustained him through an economic recession, grueling fights with congressional Republicans, and the grind of a re-election campaign.

But after a rough start to Obama’s second term, Americans increasingly view the president unfavorably. And perhaps most concerning for the White House: an Associated Press analysis of public polling shows it has become more difficult over time for Obama to fully rebound from dents in his favorability ratings.

“It’s a slow cumulative effect,” Republican pollster David Winston said, adding that personal favorability “is a much harder number to move if it starts to go south.”

The public’s increasingly negative view of Obama may be less of a concern for his future given that he is barred from running for re-election. But the president still needs a strong connection with the public in order to rally Americans around his policy proposals and, in turn, to show Congress he remains politically relevant at a time when lame duck status is lurking.

The president’s advisers need only look at Obama’s predecessor, George W. Bush, to see the impact of a crumbling relationship with the public. Positive impressions of the Republican trailed off in the beginning of 2005 amid public frustration with the Iraq war and the government’s flawed response to Hurricane Katrina. Bush’s favorability rating never recovered and he struggled to fulfill significant policy goals throughout the rest of his presidency.

A series of recent polls show Obama’s personal favorability now leaning negative, including an NBC News/Wall Street Journal Poll released last week that found positive views of Obama at the lowest point of his presidency and down 6 points from earlier in October. The drop follows the 16-day government shutdown, the cascade of problems during his health care law’s rollout, and another flood of revelations about U.S. government spying.

White House officials blame the shutdown in particular for Obama’s falling favorability, given that it resulted in shuttering many federal services and furloughs for hundreds of thousands of Americans, while again highlighting the troubled ties between the president and Capitol Hill. But Obama aides note that the impact of the shutdown on congressional Republicans has been even worse, with both their personal and job performance ratings at record lows.

Logo of the United States White House, especia...

Logo of the United States White House, especially in conjunction with offices like the Chief of Staff and Press Secretary. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Everybody gets hurt when there’s dysfunction in Washington,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said.

Throughout Obama’s presidency, his job approval and personal favorability ratings have generally risen and fallen in tandem. But his favorability numbers, which often reflect the public’s gut-level reaction to a politician, generally remained the more positive of the two measures.

That, the president’s supporters argue, made the public more likely to give him a chance even when they disagreed with his policies or the direction the country was headed. His strong likability was seen as a particular asset during his 2012 re-election campaign when most polls showed that voters saw him in a more favorable light than his Republican rival Mitt Romney.

“For the president, it’s meant that people have cared about what he had to say because they liked him,” said Celinda Lake, a Democratic pollster.

The question for the White House now is whether that dynamic will hold if the public’s personal opinions of the president continue to sour. An Associated Press-GfK poll from early October found that 52 percent of Americans didn’t think Obama was very honest and were split on whether he was even likable.

The president’s favorability has taken hits during other points in his presidency. Most polling found the public’s impression soured in late summer 2011 around the first round of debt ceiling negotiations and again last summer in the midst of his presidential campaign.

Although Obama’s favorability improved somewhat after each hit, he never fully recovered, with each rating rebound peaking below earlier average favorability ratings.

For example, Obama began 2011 with majority favorable ratings in most polling. When the debt ceiling fight pushed his favorability below 50 percent in late 2011, he came back to an average right around 50 rather than above it. This latest battle has led to average ratings in the mid-40s, worse than he’s seen at any point previously.

Past presidents have also struggled to recover from dips in their favorability ratings.

Bush left office with majorities saying they had both a negative impression of him personally and disapproved of his job performance. And former President Bill Clinton’s favorability numbers never recovered after a fall in 1998 as the Monica Lewinsky story unfolded, though his job approval remained strong through his last days at the White House.

Republican President Ronald Reagan evoked the warmest reaction from the American public, leaving office with high job approval numbers, 63 percent according to Gallup polling in December 1988, and a majority holding a favorable impression of him personally.

Source: Associated Press



Obama says he ‘won’t compromise’ on taxes

In Barak Obama, Democrats, Political News on December 10, 2012 at 10:11 pm



President Obama  warned Monday that he “won’t compromise” on his demands that the wealthiest Amereicans 

pay more in taxes, digging in on the chief sticking point between the White House and Republicans asthey seek a way to avert the “fiscal cliff.” 

Obama brought his pressure-Congress campaign to the heart of industrial America, ripping lines from his own reelection bid as the nation inched closer to a perilous economic cliff. He said the country couldn’t afford a”manufactured” crisis and pledged to cheering auto workers that he would fight to extend tax cuts for the middle

class before they expire at year’s end. 

“That’s a hit you can’t afford to take,” Obama declared. 

Obama’s campaign-style trip to Michigan came one day after he and House Speaker John Boehner met privately at the White House. While neither side would characterize the meeting, the mere fact that the two leaders talked face-to-face was seen as progress in negotiations to avoid a series of year-end tax hikes and spending cuts. 

Republicans have long opposed Obama’s call for higher tax rates on the wealthy, but some GOP lawmakers are suggesting the party relent on taxes in order to win concessions from the president on changes to benefit programs such as Medicare. Still, Boehner’s office indicatedMonday that the speaker wasn’t ready to take that step. 

“The Republican offer made last week remains the Republican offer,” said Brendan Buck, a Boehner spokesman. He was referring to a GOP plan that offered $800 billion in new revenue over the next decade through reducing or eliminating unspecified tax breaks on upper-income earners, but not by raising tax rates. 

Source:  Associated Press.

Romney pulling Illinois voters from Obama

In General News on October 11, 2012 at 4:53 pm

CHICAGO, Oct. 11 (UPI) — CHICAGO, Oct. 11 (UPI) — President Obama has a strong lead in Chicago but rival Mitt Romney has greater support in other parts of Illinois, a post-debate poll indicated.

Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Obama had a whopping 79 percent to 12 percent lead over Romney in Chicago, a Chicago Tribune/WGN-TV poll found. His advantage narrowed in suburban Cook County, 57 percent to Romney’s 34 percent, and 54 percent to 41 percent in the surrounding counties. In the remaining 96 counties, the GOP presidential aspirant led, 46 percent to 41 percent.

More white voters have been attracted to Romney since February. Then, whites favored Obama 48 percent to 41 percent.

The latest survey, conducted Oct. 4-8, found Romney with 46 percent and Obama with 45 percent. Obama’s support has also slipped among white suburban women.

Eight months ago, they favored the president 63 percent to 30 percent. That support has now fallen to 50 percent, with Romney at 43 percent. Some 95 percent of Illinois African-Americans continue to support Obama, the poll indicated.

The president’s job approval continues virtually unchanged from February at 53 percent statewide, but has dropped among Democrats. Statewide, 51 percent of voters approved of Obama’s handling of the economy and jobs. The survey of 700 voters has an error rate of 3.7 percent.

Source: United Press International

AARP objects to Obama invoking group’s support during debate

In General News on October 4, 2012 at 6:45 pm

The AARP, which put itself in the middle of the health care debate by endorsing ObamaCare, now is telling President Obamato keep the group out of his political talking points.

English: image edited to hide card's owner nam...

English: image edited to hide card’s owner name. author: Arturo Portilla (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The nation’s leading senior advocacy organization objected after the president during Wednesday’s debate twice mentioned the AARP while defending his health care plan and attacking Mitt Romney‘s plans for Medicare.

The AARP posted a blog saying that while the group is “grateful” the candidates had a “robust” debate on health care, the organization is not aligned with either candidate.

“While we respect the rights of each campaign to make its case to voters, AARP has never consented to the use of its name by any candidate or political campaign. AARP is a nonpartisan organization and we do not endorse political candidates nor coordinate with any candidate or political party,” the group said.

Obama invoked the AARP during the Denver debate because the group had endorsed his health care overhaul earlier in his term. He used that endorsement to challenge Romney’s claims that the law’s cuts to Medicare would weaken the health care system.

“And this is not my own — only my opinion. AARP thinks that the savings that we obtained from Medicare bolster the system, lengthen the Medicare trust fund by eight years. Benefits were not affected at all,” Obama said.

He went on to say that Romney’s plan, which he describes as a “voucher system,” would put seniors “at the mercy” of insurance companies.

“And this is the reason why AARP has said that your plan would weaken Medicare substantially. And that’s why they were supportive of the approach that we took,” Obama said.

The AARP, while having gotten involved in the health care debate, stressed that it is trying not to take sides in the presidential race itself.

Some, though, have questioned the AARP’s objectivity.

Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., in a recent op-ed in Politico, said the group “poses as a disinterested senior advocate” while taking positions that “just happen to coincide with its financial interests.”

He claimed that group’s support of the health care law could yield “windfall profits” by forcing seniors off Medicare Advantage and into a separate supplemental coverage program.

“AARP knows it can protect its financial interests by aligning with Democrats, no matter what its members think,” DeMint wrote.

Romney said during Wednesday’s debate that his plan for overhauling Medicare would give seniors a decade from now a choice between traditional Medicare and private insurance.

“And by the way, if the government can be as efficient as the private sector and offer premiums that are as low as the private sector, people will be happy to get traditional Medicare or they’ll be able to get a private plan,” Romney said.

Source: Fox News

Rasmussen Tracking: Obama: 46, Romney: 46

In General News on September 22, 2012 at 5:07 pm

Remember when liberals brashly claimed that the so-called “secret video” would prove to be the coup de grace that ended Mitt Romney’s political career? Good times. The fact is, though, the former Massachusetts governor (to borrow a line from the president) is actually “doing [just] fine”:


Barack Obama

Barack Obama (Photo credit: jamesomalley)

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Saturday shows President Obama and Mitt Romney each attracting support from 46% of voters nationwide. Three percent (3%) prefer some other candidate, and five percent (5%) are undecided. See daily tracking history.

When “leaners” are included, it’s Obama 48% and Romney 47%. Leaners are those who are initially uncommitted to the two leading candidates but lean towards one of them when asked a follow-up question.

This survey was conducted Wednesday through Friday of this past week, two full days after the Mother Jonesvideo surfaced. So while the video was politically damaging — and deeply embarrassing — its dissemination appears to have no lasting negative impact. Good to know. This election is very much up for grabs — especially now that Mitt Romney has the resources to be competitive.

Mitt Romney Steve Pearce event 018

Mitt Romney Steve Pearce event 018 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)



10-part report raises questions about narrative of Obama’s early life

In General News on September 20, 2012 at 2:30 pm


By Ronald Ayers


A newly published report raises questions about some established narratives in the early life of President Obama, suggesting the president’s upbringing was one of privilege and not hardship. 




The Washington Examiner published a 10-part report detailing Obama’s path to the White House. Some of the information appears to conflict with the narratives the Democratic Party has pushed, most recently at the party’s convention in Charlotte.


At the convention, Michelle Obama said they:


“were both raised by families who didn’t have much in the way of money or material possessions.”


Examiner Executive Editor Mark Tapscott questioned that.


“I’m sure he had a difficult childhood given the circumstances with his parents, but from a financial standpoint and social standpoint and so forth , it was not an underprivileged childhood,” Tapscott said.


The Examiner reports that the Indonesian neighborhood, Menteng, where Obama’s mother and step-father raised the young Barry Soetoro was the most exclusive in Jakarta.


Later sent to live with his grandparents in Hawaii where his grandmother was a bank vice president, Obama attended the exclusive Punahoe school. He later went on to Columbia University and Harvard Law School.


In his first job as a Chicago community organizer, Obama rejected more lucrative offers.


But while he worked in the city’s impoverished Southside, he lived in exclusive Hyde Park.


Of his 12 years as a lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School, Time Magazine said in 2008: “Within a few years he had become a rock star professor with hordes of devoted students.”  But student evaluations obtained by the Examiner tell a different story. In 2003, only a third of students recommended his courses.


“It went steadily down in the last five or six years that he was there. He was among the lowest-ranked professors,” Tapscott said.


Nor did the future president leave any record of scholarly writings, while similarly credentialed colleagues had a prolific presence in law journals.


“He showed up to class, he gave his lectures and he was gone,” Tapscott said.


The Examiner found sharp contrasts between Obama’s memory of his legal work, and the record of it.


In “Dreams From My Father,” he wrote: “In my legal practice, I work mostly with churches and community groups, men and women who quietly built grocery stores and health clinics in the inner city, and housing for the poor.”


But a document filed with the Illinois Secretary of State shows the young lawyer represented some well-heeled clients. In one case, he represented a politically connected preacher and real estate developer, Bishop Arthur Brazier, who had failed to provide heating and running water to 15 apartments in the dead of winter.  Obama’s client had all the tenants forcibly removed from the building, yet paid only a $50 fine under Obama’s legal counsel.


For all of his critics on the right, community organizer Obama left many colleagues on the left disheartened, by allegedly selling out to the Chicago establishment.


The late radical journalist Robert Fitch, who specialized in urban politics, said:


“What we see is that the Chicago core of the Obama Coalition is made of blacks who’ve moved up by moving poor blacks out.”


D’Anna Carter, a neighborhood activist, singled out the president’s closest aid, Valerie Jarrett, for criticism. Jarrett was CEO of Habitat Co., a low-income real estate firm that made millions of dollars in part by leveraging federal programs like the Low Income Housing Tax Creditwith subprime lending to poor people.


Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor to President B...

Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor to President Barack Obama. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


“They were never interested in poor people. They would sell poor people a bill of goods,” Carter said.


Some argue that President Obama won office on his strength as a reformer – he did vow to “fundamentally transform America.” But the Examiner found as a state senator he rejected overtures to reform the Chicago machine.


“He made it pretty clear he wasn’t interested in risk-taking or challenging the Chicago machine’s lock on a lot of mechanics of government in Cook County in Chicago,” said one frustrated former colleague, former state Sen. Steve Rauschenberger.


Mayor Richard J Daley — the last of the big city bosses — built that machine by rewarding allies with patronage positions. Today, Obama’s choice of aides suggests an unbreakable bond to that machine. Closest aide Valerie Jarrett, campaign adviser David Axelrod, and former chiefs of staff Rahm Emanuel and Bill Daley all cut their political teeth in the Daley machine.


Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley

Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


The legendary Chicago Tribune writer Mike Royko once penned this advice to mayoral candidate Richard M. Daley, the son of the big city boss:


“Reward your friends and punish your enemies.”


It is a phrase the president once used to describe how Latinos should think about elections.


In a 2010 interview, Obama urged Latinos to say:


“We’re gonna punish our enemies and reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us.”


To that end, The Examiner says 31 Obama campaign bundlers received clean-energy loans and grants totaling more than $16 billion. The auto bailout favored the United Auto Workers — over secured creditors — and eight of the 10 states getting the most contracts from the stimulus program were heavily Democratic.

Source: The Washington Examiner and Fox News



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