Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Obama Popularity Myth

How much of a disconnect is there between the public's perception of Barack Obama and the media's? It's a gulf that even Moses himself couldn't part. First, the facts, from the Washington Examiner: the 100-day mark of his presidency, Mr. Obama is the second-least-popular president in 40 years.

According to Gallup's April survey, Americans have a lower approval of Mr. Obama at this point than all but one president since Gallup began tracking this in 1969. The only new president less popular was Bill Clinton... Mr. Obama's current approval rating of 56 percent is only one tick higher than the 55-percent approval Mr. Clinton had during those crises.

...five presidents rated higher than Mr. Obama after 100 days in office. Ronald Reagan topped the charts in April 1981 with 67 percent approval. Following the Gipper, in order of popularity, were: Jimmy Carter with 63 percent in 1977; George W. Bush with 62 percent in 2001; Richard Nixon with 61 percent in 1969; and George H.W. Bush with 58 percent in 1989.

It's no surprise the liberal media aren't anxious to point out that their darling is less popular than George W. Bush. But given the Gallup numbers, their hurrahs could be more subdued.

Especially since their darling is in the basement, more or less. But realistic analysis is not what you get from those head-over-heels in love; you get pulp romance instead:

The combination of candor and vision and the patient explanation of complex issues was Obama at his best — and more than any other moment of his first 100 days in office, it summed up the purpose of his presidency: a radical change of course not just from his predecessor, not just from the 30-year Reagan era but also from the quick-fix, sugar-rush, attention-deficit society of the postmodern age.

And if you are part of that ever growing group of Americans that is wary of Mr. Obama's radical agenda? Well, the media has a word for you:

...frequent, unbidden appearances by such unpopular characters as Karl Rove, Dick Cheney and Newt Gingrich, whose rants about everything from Obama's decision to repudiate the torture of enemy combatants to his handshake with Chávez seem both ungracious and unhinged.

"Ungracious and unhinged" "rants" are probably the best three words I can think of to describe the media's treatment of Geroge Bush in particular and Republicans in general.

Actually, though, "unhinged" is a good word for the media to use to describe itself - after all, what else do you call an obsessed lover who sees no fault, only radiance, from their heartthrob?

And they wonder why they're losing readers by the millions...I mean, really - who wants to read a paper written by the equivalent of a street-corner lunatic, anyway?

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