Tuesday was an especially bad day for President Obama. New polls tested the bottom of his approval range with 41 percent and 48 percent disapproval from a McClatchy-Marist poll, helping push him further into negative territory in the RealClearPolitics.com polling average.
The immigration bill, the last hope for salvaging anything out of his first term agenda, is in trouble, partially because rank and file Republican voters; i.e., primary voters, who are resistant to reform in general, reject reform 9-to-1 when his name is associated with it. He has a net negative impact on his own agenda.
Washington gridlock has joined a stream of foreign news in which America and Obama appear as bystanders sideling his foreign policy initiatives and his aggressive second term agenda highlighted at the inaugural.
And, in what has been widely panned as a desperate effort to change the subject and gain some traction, the Obama team “pivots” for the umpteenth time to the economy. Good idea, you can’t go wrong with the economy, but it looks defensive and it’s hardly clear what he can do about the fact that 50 percent of the public believe next year will be about the same as this one for their personal finances.
Ironically, he announced the latest pivot at a briefing with his highly talented November campaign organization, which morphed into a national lobbying effort for his now stalled agenda.
As they say in Washington – bad optics.