Green Room

A Theory for Obama’s Plummeting Approval Rating

posted at 9:31 am on August 31, 2009 by

This morning, I was stuck in traffic for almost an hour due to road construction. During the delay, I was listening to a local talk show, and being discussed was a Rasmussen poll conducted over the weekend that showed President Obama’s approval ratings hitting a new low at 47%.

As I sat still amid a throng of idling cars occupied by frustrated drivers on the verge of road-rage, I looked down the road a bit, and proudly displayed in full view in front of a construction site where nobody was working on a 65-degree sunny morning was a sign just like this one:


From a political sales perspective, I think this was the biggest mistake the Obama administration has made so far — and that’s saying something. There’s nothing worse for a politician than to put a sign up to remind everybody exactly who it was that caused them to be late for work and pissed off that morning. Especially in an area that nobody’s been working in for quite some time.

Obama putting up “Recovery Act” signs that are synonymous with his administration in full view of the accompanying traffic jams has all the sales impact of placing Alpo billboards in front of pet cemeteries.

Road work is a necessary inconvenience (well, often it is anyway), but taking credit for extreme traffic backups is just plain stupid — which is why traffic jams have never been “sponsored” before, and probably never will be again when or if the geniuses behind Hopenchange ever figure this out.

In his insistence upon putting the “stimulus” signs next to highway projects, Obama might be costing himself the 2012 election, one angry driver at a time. Couple that with the “Peggy Effect,” and The One is in trouble.

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Good theory. I wonder why no one was working at the site on such a nice day. hmm…

becki51758 on August 31, 2009 at 9:52 AM

We recently went on a long road trip through Montana and found one of those signs in Lame Deer. There was no construction going on, so no jobs were being created or saved. Maybe they can use the sign for something else in a few years.

Kissmygrits on August 31, 2009 at 9:57 AM

Same signs up all along the Interstates around here…for a couple months now. Likewise, except for the signs, little evidence of any actual work being done.

Sorta like the Obama Administration itself.

coldwarrior on August 31, 2009 at 9:58 AM

There has been road work all around where I live. Some whole sections of road without any problems have been entirely re-paved for no apparent reason.

The whole thing is annoying. It ties up traffic, and the pavement they’re using is much noisier than the original pavement. I don’t know why it should be noisier to drive on, but it is what it is.

Daggett on August 31, 2009 at 10:02 AM

I noticed a week ago that a highway in I was on in the remote reaches of southeastern New Mexico — which has been under reconstruction for more than a year — has suddenly sprouted those signs, even though the work began well before last November’s election, let alone the passage of Porkulus this past winter.

A ‘thank you’ from Gov. Bill Richardson for Eric Holder canceling that Justice Department probe, no doubt. But someone had a sense of humor about where they placed the signs, since instead of putting them at the start of the section that’s been repaved, straightened out and widened, they put them where the new construction ends and when the rutted, shoulder-less crappy 40 mph old section of the highway begins.

jon1979 on August 31, 2009 at 10:42 AM

Brilliant. I agree. I drove across country last month, LA to NY, and every time I hit one of these stretches (most infuriatingly in Pennsylvania, where the work zones were staggered in such a way to maximize frustration and rage)there were the signs to objectify my anger. And the orange cones! (wish now I’d bought stock in orange road-cone companies). As I sat there in my car, my mind turned to Washington, to the smug seats of power and the politicians whose pointless directives led, as most everything Washington conceives for their self-serving political ends leads, to a “traffic jam.”

rrpjr on August 31, 2009 at 11:05 AM

Gee, I thought those signs were just there to pi$$ me off.

Browncoatone on August 31, 2009 at 11:16 AM

We need to make some giant stickers that say FAIL and start slapping them on those signs.

I drove the length of West Virginia in July and saw at least a dozen of those signs, and no sign of anyone doing actual work on the road.

rockmom on August 31, 2009 at 11:27 AM

I will say, though, that the freefall in Obama’s approval rating almost exactly mirror’s President Bush in 2005 when he tried to push Social Security reform.

Americans always say the want change, but they do not want really big change, especially in really big programs that affect everyone. That’s why Social Security is a Third Rail – and so is health care reform.

The more Obama concentrates on this loser health care bill, the lower his ratings will go.

rockmom on August 31, 2009 at 11:30 AM

I haven’t seen one of these signs in Midtown Manhattan. I guess no jobs here are being created or saved.

HowardPortnoy on August 31, 2009 at 11:45 AM

The work involved in “Putting America to Work” is the work involved in putting up the signs. That’s the work and the only work.

Dhuka on August 31, 2009 at 12:38 PM

I especially liked the linkage with the “Peggy effect”. I’m not sure Peggy will actually vote for him again—if Peggy becomes another of the millions to lose her job!

texabama on August 31, 2009 at 2:29 PM

such advertising genius!

kabukiwatch on August 31, 2009 at 8:18 PM

What roadwork? The icon of the little black guy wearing the hard hat working the shovel in the placard with the orange background doesn’t indicate roadwork, it indicates some dude stirrin’ up the siht. Don’t forget to get in line behind the others for your shovelful.

ericdijon on August 31, 2009 at 8:57 PM

Good theory. I wonder why no one was working at the site on such a nice day. hmm…

becki51758 on August 31, 2009 at 9:52 AM

Probably union members on strike, or bussed out to a townhall rally to bust some heads.

tpitman on September 1, 2009 at 5:49 AM

The sign “Putting America to Work” is demeaning, all around. The Americans were working long before Obama came on the scene, and they’ve never stopped. The expression “put…to work” suggests a new slavery. The shoveling stick-figure leaves one wondering whether shoveling is most representative of what left-“liberals” think work is, whether it’s the work they think Americans are most fit for, and whether “Putting America to Work” satisfies their desire to punish the Americans.

Kralizec on September 1, 2009 at 9:23 AM

Or it could just be that Americans don’t want to live under totalitarian socialism…

modifiedcontent on September 1, 2009 at 6:14 PM