Friday, November 27, 2009

The Tough Road Ahead for President Obama

It is going to be a trying few months for the President. Consider:
(1) He is about to announce an Afghanistan strategy that will infuriate his own party. Liberals will be outraged that we are sending more troops to Afghanistan, while Conservatives will be likely only lukewarm in their support, feeling that he should have reached this conclusion earlier.
(2) He needs every last one of those members of his own party to pass health care reform legislation in the Senate. He also needs to convince moderates like Sen. Blanche Lincoln (AR) to vote with him, possibly at the expense of her own job.
(3) While unemployment appears to be stabilizing (at least from the latest unemployment benefit numbers), it is stabilizing at a very high level, with pretty low prospects for it being recovered in time for November.
(4) His third domestic priority, environmental legislation took a huge blow when hacked e-mails from major scientists appeared to reveal a conspiracy to squash anti-global warming scientific evidence. The perception is horrible, regardless of the scientific reality.
(5) His approval in many polls has dipped below the "magic" (in the eyes of the media, not myself) 50% threshold, although his approve minus disapprove remains positive.
(6) The Secret Service is apparently too inept to keep uninvited guests out of his parties -- not a comforting thought if you are the first black US President who sees death threats posted on the internet daily.
(7) Everybody still hates Tim Geithner
(8) You can't seem to stop committing gaffes on foreign soil (bow and handshake, ipods to the Queen of England, etc.) -- and we all know the media would much rather talk about that than substance

A tough road indeed. Poll numbers updated next post (still painfully recreating my poll database from scratch).

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