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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Obama's Base: Pundits v. the Public

In conversations with folks across the center-left in recent days, everyone’s basically had it with the president. I’ve had policy frustrations before: Obama’s never aimed high enough on school reform and he’s failed miserably to advance a real jobs agenda, to name just two. I’ve said repeatedly that we need a third party to shake things up. But at the same time a part of me has always cut the president some slack — after all, look at the mess the man walked into! Yet somehow the debt-ceiling fiasco and the downgrade, punctuated by these horrific jobs numbersand stock market gyrations, has made something in me (and, I suspect, millions of others) snap.

It’s the sound of confidence in Obama’s leadership breaking

At The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, columnist regrets backing Obama over Clinton:

So here we are almost 2 1/2 years into his presidency. We're still in Iraq, still in Afghanistan. The economy is still in the Dumpster. U.S. credit has been downgraded. We've got a half-baked health care reform law that is being challenged. The middle class is still getting crushed.

Why has Obama not lived up to the promise? He is clearly intelligent. For some reason, though, he was not ready for the rough and tumble of national politics.

Maybe his background is the reason. He went to a private prep school in Hawaii and then Columbia University, and Harvard for law. These were white-majority schools, to be sure, but also places with educated, enlightened people who were happy to see a black kid succeed. That is, I suspect, a big thing. Nobody ever wanted to see him fail until he became president.

Hillary had been tested. Eight years in the meat grinder. She'd have been a better president.

But the Pew Research Center reports:
Despite speculation that the Democratic base has become increasingly disillusioned with Barack Obama, rank-and-file Democrats are not eager to see other candidates challenge him for their party’s nomination in 2012. Just 32% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents say they would like other Democrats to take on Obama for the nomination, while 59% say they would not.

There has been little change in Democrats’ views about whether Obama should face a nomination challenge since last fall. In November, shortly after the midterm election, 38% of Democrats and Democratic leaners favored a primary challenge to Obama while 59% were opposed.