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Saturday, November 20, 2010


Bill Fleming

Sorry, I'm just not seeing it. Can you point it out for me in this data, KB?


Maybe you can find someone with BETTER numbers?

Donald Pay

Let's face reality here. Obama's polling numbers are not so bad because both the state of American leadership and what peole expect from leadership in both parties is pretty damn low. If Obama has "fallen" I guess we would have to say that Republican leadership has been sucked into a black hole. (I'm talking about leadership that has a prayer at governing, not leadership that can grab onto a plutocratic money bomb that can twist a political message.) Obama is being saved because the Republicans think they have been raptured and have completely abandoned life on earth as it is lived.


Ah........Bill. About half the country disapproves in all the polls. In none of them is Obama over fifty percent. In several more than fifty percent disapprove. Ask Stephanie Herseth Sandlin how comfortable you should be with such numbers.

Glad to be able to point that out. In their recent caucus, one Democrat after another tore into him. Even Biden tacitly acknowledges the problem. It isn't that Obama is wildly unpopular, just that he has lost all power to inspire or influence much of anyone.

Donald: whatever is wrong with Obama has been wrong from the very beginning. See the Atlantic piece on the Afghanistan decision.

Bill Fleming

KB, no, perhaps you misunderstood me.

I myself pointed to Obama's numbers, such as they are.
And I know what they say, but thank you for confirming.

I was asking you to point to someone who has better ratings,
especially on the GOP side of the ledger.

As for your SHS example, you will of course recall that
the majority of people in SD voted AGAINST Kristi Noem
as well.

Now, to save you some trouble, here is an example of a
guy with some pretty good numbers compared to Obama's:

And his wife's data isn't too bad either:

I'll leave it to you to show us the GOP numbers.

Happy hunting. :^)


Bill: WHO is the new Congresswoman from South Dakota? I seem to recall that Herseth Sandlin was not reelected.

Yes I misunderstood your point. I thought you were trying to say something relevant. Republicans can afford to be unpopular when they are winning elections by historic margins.

The point here, however, is not the President's popularity but his emptiness. Maybe he'll get the Zen vote.

Bill Fleming

Keep thinking that way, KB. Better yet, convince the Repubs in office to take that position. That attitude and a struggling economy are exactly what has caused Obama's slip in popularity. That and a 2-year systematic multimedia character assassination blitz.


Bill: President Bush's popularity was at 68% during his second term. Compared to Obama, that's rather good. Maybe that means something.

It's hard to find polls for other challengers. First, because we don't really know yet who will be running and second because Gallop and Rasmussen don't take polls of everyone's popularity. I tried searching for popularity polls on some of my favorites and came up with nothing. I'll have to keep poking around.

Donald Pay

I find myself agreeing in part with KB. There certainly is a lot to be desired from Obama that we aren't getting. The problem for KB is that the Republican "leadership" amounts to a rectum full of simultaneous arrogance and kowtowing to the plutocracy. It's now on full display, and people are already recoiling, and regretting putting any faith whatsoever in the GOP.

Obama's faults must be compared to those of the "leadership" of the Republican Party. There is such a huge gap in governing leadership between Obama and the Republicans that what is lacking in Obama pales in comparison to gaping lack of leadership of the Republican Party.

Bill Fleming

Miranda, here's a pretty good place to look:

It's a compilation of lots of recent, and not so recent polls.
Many of the prospective candidates included on the list
down the left hand side.

A few points of clarification. Obama is still in his first term, not his second.
Midway through his first term to be exact.

At the equivalent times in their presidencies many modern presidents have
had lower approval ratings than Obama's is currently.

For example:

Obama, today: 48% approval
Clinton, 1994: 46%
Johnson, 1966: 44%
Reagan 1982: 42%
Truman, 1950 39%
GW Bush, 2006: 38%
Truman, 1946: 33%

Here's a link to the whole list:

Bill Fleming

Note: the equivalency I mention above is for "midterm" not necessarily
"first midterm." Some on the list are "second midterm."

Also note that Obama's poll # was 45, not 48 which would exclude
Clinton from the list above, but just barely.

Clinton's current approval rating is in the 60's. GWB's is still lower than
Obama's, but up considerably since he left office.

Bill Fleming

Don, I'll agree that Obama needs to find his center and act from it.

It's hard to do when you're busy herding cats and pushing a piece
of cooked spaghetti up a steep ramp, (and that's just OUR guys)
but he has to do it anyway.

I look for a different administration style with Pete Rouse replacing
Rahm Emanuel.


I like the notion that Obama "needs to find his center and act from it." When a man of his age in his position hasn't found his center yet, he is probably not going to find it. I continue to think that Obama has no center and ever will. I hope I am wrong. I ain't.

Bill Fleming

Considering your position below that we all have souls, KB, I find your assertion here relatively soulless. Vapid, in fact.


The only Obama should be thinking about right now is a three letter word,

Donald Pay

The problem isn't that Obama doesn't have a center. Obama has a technocratic and corporatist center. This has been pretty clear since the primaries. He's not driven by partisan fighting, which explains both his initial appeal to independents and his constant rolling over to the Republicans. His initial call to bipartisanship was fine, even necessary. It's been clear since June 2009 that the Republicans would not recipricate. He needed to change course, but he couldn't because he is centered in the bipartisan corporatist technocratic world.

Bill Fleming

Could well be, Don. Maybe I'm projecting something on him that's not there. Misreading his cues.
I was thinking he was "driven" by human rights. I think that's a concern the GOP is supposed to share.
But that could be just wishful thinking on my part, on both fronts, I suppose.

Hey, a guy's gotta dream, you know?


Donald says, "It's been clear since June 2009 that the Republicans would not recipricate."

Uh.....Do you recall the "I won" statement? The only way your comment makes any sense is that your definition of "bipartisanship" means.....Democrats make demands, and Republicans go along with whatever Democrats demand. Other than that definition, your comment makes no sense what-so-ever.

Can you provide evidence of Obama's "Bipartisan Corporatist Technocratic Center?" As of right now, every American Corporation, and small buisness is totally confused, or reluctant to make any long term decisions, based on the aggressive regulatory environment and the anti-Free Market rhetoric.

Donald Pay

Since you wouldn't believe something from the left on Obama's technocratic bent, here is something from the right.


Yes, I recall the "I won" statement. Great statement, no follow through. When you don't act like you won, you lost.

Oh, God. The poor "confused" corporatist is a great meme you've bought into. I have to deal with human resource departments in large and medium sized businesses and with many small business owners, and most were far more "confused" in 2007 and 2008. Who was president then?

Stan Gibilisco

Barack Obama strikes me as "bookly smart but worldly dumb." I harbor a long-standing familiarity with that label, having had it stuck to me ever since I was old enough to remember anything.

He also has a dry wit (as does Joe Biden) that often blows right past people. Not necessarily over their heads, but through them, in a fourth dimension perhaps.

I think Barack Obama might represent the antithesis of Sarah Palin; both are charming and likeable, but neither would seem (to this aging coot)

Stan Gibilisco

... to make very good presidential material. (Hit the "Post" button instead of the "edit" button. Paper smart but computer dumb.



The article you provided was written two months after he assumed office. The articles main objective was to point how Obama won the election, but does not provide any indepth analysis of Obama being pro-Corporatist. If he is so Technocratic, why couldn't he sell Health Care Reform, or Cap & Trade, the closing of Gitmo, and Financial Reform?

Obama had zero relevent experience. He can talk a good game, but his lack of real world application of the Anti-Colonialist and Social Justice Agendas is on full display. History will not judge Obama well, especially if he doesn't use his supposed "Technocratic" skills to get the economy rip-roaring before the 2012 Election.

Donald says, "far more "confused" in 2007 and 2008. Who was president then?"

Are you seriously attempting to make the case that the reason small buisness' and moderate American corprations are not hiring, expanding, or investing is because the economic situation now, and the outlook in the near future is better?

Donald Pay

In Wisconsin companies started hiring in January 2010 after two years of laying people off. Hiring and business expansions are occurring in the current environment. The premise of your question has no factual basis.



The economic situation near your area may be good, but that does not dictate the reality for the rest of the country.

Unemployment still above 8%, and GDP growth of only 2.2% does not signal strong growth moving into the future. How much of the recovery is just getting back what has been lost. There is a difference between employment and job creation. This recovery has been based on increases in Governmental employment. Corporate profits are way up due to lack of hiring, expansion, and investment. They are hanging on to the money because they are not confident in making any long term decisions, they cannot get a read on the implications of Health Reform, and do not know how much the regulatory evironment is changing.

The back bone of the economy is small buisness and we haven't seen any growth! What exactly was the point of electing the person who claimed to have plans of recovery, who begged for the job, who lacked any relevant experience, and who still blames his predecessor?

Donald Pay

There is not going to be strong growth, but there is growth. Republican policies would drive us into a double dip recession or a depression, and that's of more concern to businesses than any of the new legislation. The implications of health reform are pretty clear. Single payer would have been preferable, but small businesses are getting tax credits for health care plans under the program that passed. The lack of growth in small business has more to do with credit restrictions, and Republicans wanting to provide subsidies to the super rich, rather than targeting those for job creation.

The Republican plan (or lack thereof) is creating far more confusion and anxiety in businesses than anything Obama has done. In Wisconsin the Republican takeover has created lots of confusion and hesitation in small and medium sized businesses in the high tech sector. Since most of these are spin offs from people associated with institutions of higher education, the industries of tomorrow are not likely to be incubated under Republican control. We will see China and India surpass us in more and more fields. Our incoming Governor has already tried to ax high speed rail, and he's threatening other 21st century industries. Wha's become clear is that Republican economic programs are geared to paying off supporters and letting them get richer, rather than supporting the industries of the future.

Bill Fleming

Jimi, the FACT is that the era when the Bush tax cuts have been in place have been the worst rate of job growth in the past 70 years of US history. The absolute worst. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/graphic/2010/01/01/GR2010010101478.html



Well it is tough to have job growth when you have almost full employment. The unemployment during the Bush Years was around 4.5%. Full employment is not far off that percentage.

Bill Fleming

Jimi, Jimi, Jimi. You've got to start getting your news somewhere else in addition to Fox news.


Donald says, "The lack of growth in small business has more to do with credit restrictions, and Republicans wanting to provide subsidies to the super rich, rather than targeting those for job creation."

The contraction of credit affects "start-ups," but it doesn't affect small buisness' that fired people as buisness slowed, and are now unwilling to hire anybody back. If they had confidence in the economy, maybe they would take on more risk and expand, but they don't. You can't blame Republicans for lack of confidence in the private sector, they are not the ones holding the reigns.

It is not clear why you keep looking backward and pointing to the Tax Cut. This country does not have a Tax Revenue problem, it has a spending problem. Democrats have had control of Congress since 2006, and control of the Executive Branch since 2008. When are we going to see the leadership that we were sold before the election....The "Yes we Can" and the "Change we can Believe In?" Obama and the Democrats were elected into office to solve problems, and make decisions. At this point, they have the option to let those tax cuts expire, but they aren't going to do that are they? And why not?

If Demcorats were sereios about job creation in the private sector they would spent the stimulus money on innovation and infrastructure, they instead chose to pay off their union allies and grow the size of government. Isn't it time for Democrats to start taking some responsibility? Isn't time for people who support Democrats to hold those responsible in leadership now, instead of blaming everything on the people who haven't had any power since 2006, weren't asked to help, weren't offered the chance to involk their ideas, weren't asked to the sausage making?

Donald Pay

Un, Jimi, maybe you check the facts before you post.



Great thread! I note that the current economic projections are not optimistic, whatever may be happening in Wisconsin. If accurate, Obama will face the voters in 2012 with an unemployment rate as bad as the one facing the Democrats this year.

However I don't want to miss this moment where Donald and I agree: Obama has no center.



The arguement is whether employment was better in the past. The answer is clearly "yes."

Clinton Average Rate = 5.2%
Bush Average Rate = 5.27%
Obama Average Rate = 9.3%


Clinton's Highest rate was the same as Bush's @ 7.4%, and that rate existed for the same amount of time as well @ 1 month. Bush's terms had two large recessions, while Clinton's had 1 small one.

What is it exactly you were attempting to point out with that link?


Donald says, "maybe you check the facts before you post."

What is it exactly your pointing at, that is incorrect. Do we really need to get into detail of how the money was supposed to be spent compared to how it actually got spent? We can see from your source where unions and size of government has grown. Also, we can see how much of the so called "Stimulus" was not designed to be stimulative.


I am not sure that Presidents are much responsible for the unemployment rate during their administrations. It is more likely that the unemployment rate is sometimes responsible for Presidents. If current projections are accurate, Barack Obama will face 2012 in a very difficult situation. Unemployment will have been over 8% for all four years of his term. I think that that is unprecedented. Can he win reelection with that kind of drag? Maybe. The Republicans might nominate Sarah Palin. It might take something like that to return Obama.

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