We’re getting the answer at least in terms of poll numbers fo the big question that was raised at the start of Barack Obama’s Presidency: would he turn out to be another FDR, another JFK, another Reagan or another Carter? In terms of polling he is now officially “another Carter” — and future Presidents may be get the label “another Obama” unless this changes:
President Obama’s slow ride down Gallup’s daily presidential job approval index has finally passed below Jimmy Carter, earning Obama the worst job approval rating of any president at this stage of his term in modern political history.
Since March, Obama’s job approval rating has hovered above Carter’s, considered among the 20th century’s worst presidents, but today Obama’s punctured Carter’s dismal job approval line. On their comparison chart, Gallup put Obama’s job approval rating at 43 percent compared to Carter’s 51 percent.
Back in 1979, Carter was far below Obama until the Iran hostage crisis, eerily being duplicated in Tehran today with Iranian protesters storming the British embassy. The early days of the crisis helped Carter’s ratings, though his failure to win the release of captured Americans, coupled with a bad economy, led to his defeat by Ronald Reagan in 1980.
It is increasingly clear that given his poll numbers, the tepid economy (despite good Black Friday sales), his political team’s less than stellar performance, and the fact that he seems to be more of a Velcro President then a Teflon President, if Republicans can put up a candidate in 2012 who appeals to more than just Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity they will have a shot at the White House.
But if their candidate is a narrow ideological candidate who basically makes it clear that he or she considers independents mushy for not automatically agreeing to a GOP conservative agenda, or moderates weak-kneed compromises, or suggests millions of Latinos need to be deported, or turns off women voters — Republicans truly have a historic opportunity.
Right now the White House looks ripe for a political picking. Will the go for it or make it clear that American needs above all ideological purity and those who don’t see it their way need not apply (or vote for them)?
And Obama? He’s in a holding pattern. Classic survival mode.
Once you fall below Jimmy Carter denial for the White House and Democrats is not an option. (Or is it?)