Why are President Obama’s approval ratings so low? According to Obama’s closest aide in the White House, chief of staff Bill Daley, Obama’s just not getting the breaks:
“Considering the debacle that he came in with, the tough choices he’s made and how there have been few, if any breaks, he says it himself all the time,” Daley says. “He doesn’t know why he’s as high as 44 percent.”
That is supposed to be a laugh line, but, indeed, the RealClearPolitics average of leading polls currently has Obama at 44.0 percent approval and 50.7 percent disapproval.
That is due to many factors, Daley says, and he starts reeling them off: trying to stimulate the economy; trying to save the auto industry; trying to increase the debt ceiling; passing health care legislation; fighting wars in Afghanistan and Iraq; and dealing with Syria, North Korea, Egypt and Iran. To name a few.
“It’s been a brutal three years,” he says. “It’s been a very, very difficult three years, an incredible three years. And we are doing all this under the overhang of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. F—k! It wasn’t like all this was happening in good times.”
Was Obama and his team spending the 2007-8 campaign hailing a period of “good times” before the election, and somehow got surprised by the economic problems that awaited them? Not hardly. Obama and Democrats spent both years ripping the Bush economy, and then taking full political advantage (fairly, of course) of the collapse in the fall of 2008.
Let’s not forget that the parameters of the collapse were well known by the time Obama took office, and by the time he proposed his stimulus package. He had his leading economists, Christine Romer and Jared Bernstein, work on the proposal that claimed they could stave off high unemployment if only Congress would send him $775 billion. The result of his gimmicky interventions and massive expansion of regulations was easily predictable — it killed any chance for significant job growth, and gave us the worst job-recovery curve in all post-WWII recessions (data and chart from Minneapolis Fed):
What does this show? You make your own luck. The regulatory adventurism and class-warfare policies pursued by this President has killed the natural recovery cycle and extended the misery for millions of Americans. Whining about the “breaks” is what losing teams do to deflect attention away from their own poor performance, and this is no exception.