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"If you read just three people analyzing American politics today, do yourself a favor and make certain that Rhodes Cook is one of them. Rhodes is one of the three wisest Americans now analyzing this country's politics. As somebody who writes on politics, I want my reader to have one of two reactions: 1) Gee, I never knew that or 2) Gee, I never thought of it that way! Every time I read Rhodes Cook I have both reactions--with some envy--Gee, I never knew that and Gee, I never thought of it that way." 

~ Mark Shields, Analyst on PBS's NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, panelist on "Inside Washington," Syndicated Columnist, Creators Syndicate.

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Tuesday
Jul212009

Should Obama worry? 

Yes, he should. Since his inauguration, Obama has lost 10 percentage points in his job approval rating. That's one of the largest and fastest declines for any new president in the past half century. And for better or worse, there is a correlation between a president's popularity and his ability to get things done. When LBJ was moving his Great Society programs in 1965, his popularity was in the 60-70% range. When Bill Clinton was stymied on health care, I believe that his approval rating was straddling 50%. It's already clear that Obama is not going to enjoy the long-term stratospheric-like ratings that Ike or JFK did. But he cannot fall much further in his job approval rating and expect to successfully pursue his ambitious agenda.

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Reader Comments (1)

Ike and JFK also didn't have the 7X24 news cycle to contend with either, e.g., the Internet, YouTube, cable, etc.) that 'gives every dog their day' for the sake of content. Under current conditions 49% may be strong. There is no doubt that the lack of job growth is hurting and will hurt more as time goes buy if nothing is done to directly attack the problem. Also hurting is loss of some of his base support (myself included) due to his failure to date to carry through on campaign promises such as don't ask don't tell, closing GITMO.

December 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterClyde

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