At one time, Americans held their president in the highest esteem. They trusted him to be an honest, strong, understanding leader who shared their values and could manage the complexities of governance. Now, not so much.
Gallup released their latest polling information on the perception Americans have of President Obama and the findings are striking, but ultimately unsurprising. Obama came to office riding high on a wave of disaffection following eight years of the presidency of George W. Bush, in which citizens were fed a steady diet of misinformation and propaganda on a daily basis from nearly every news source, comedy show and celebrity that the president was an abject failure, and that by extension, so was the Republican party. Americans were sold a bill of goods, convincing and guilting them into the mindset that the only possible solution to their widespread and worsening problems was not only to elect a Democrat, but to elect the most unqualified, inexperienced, and extreme ideologue on the left.
Obama was viewed as a direct counter to Bush and the Republicans in Congress. He was presented as someone who could be trusted to be an honest, strong, understanding leader who shared Americans’ values and could manage the complexities of governance, and he scored highly on each of the metrics in polls conducted following his inauguration. But the high didn’t last long, and his nembers began trending downward almost immediately, plateauing briefly just enough for Obama to win reelection in 2012. Then the slide continued. He is now below 50% on all of them.
Fewer Americans are more likely to say Obama understands the problems Americans face in their daily lives (48%), that he is honest and trustworthy (47%), and that he is a strong and decisive leader (45%). They are even less likely to say he shares their values (43%), can manage government effectively (39%), and has a clear plan for solving the country’s problems (34%).
The mainstream media and the political left did such an effective job of portraying President Bush as a failure that by comparison, Obama looked like the promised messiah. The expectations created were so high that no one could possibly achieve them. Obama was set up to fail from day one. Worse still, given that he had no actual ability to compromise, lead or actually govern, where he has ended up was inevitable. His failure has been unsurprising for most, and disappointing for all.
We all had hope.