George Will: Let's face it -- besides Nixon's, this is pretty much the worst second term, ever

It’s been a rough fifth year in office for President Obama, with overwrought sequestration scare tactics, Scandalpalooza, and the Syrian debacle all chipping away at his leadership street cred, among other things — but this disaster of an ObamaCare rollout is really hammering the heightened disapproval home with what’s starting to look like a majority of Americans. During past job-performance dips, O’s job approval rating has been reliably bolstered by his personal favorability ratings and Americans’ sense of trust in him — but the health care law is helping to erode those usual go-to’s, and quickly. Via the WSJ:

Only 41% of Americans viewed Mr. Obama in a positive light in a late October Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, with 45% holding a negative impression of him. That marked Mr. Obama’s all-time low as president—and the first time more people saw him negatively than positively.

A more fluid measure of Mr. Obama’s standing—the public’s assessment of his performance as president—is now also sliding. Only 42% in the late-October poll approved of the job he is doing, a low in Journal/NBC surveys, with 51% disapproving.

A survey released last week by the Pew Research Center found the president’s approval rating at 41%, down 10 points since May. Pew’s pollsters compared Mr. Obama’s fortunes to the slide that former President George W. Bush saw. At a comparable point in Mr. Bush’s second term—after Hurricane Katrina had hit—Mr. Bush’s job approval stood at 36%.

By contrast, however, Pew’s polling held second-term support steady for Clinton and Reagan, with a respective 58 percent and 62 percent of the public approving of their job performances at similar moments, and President Bush had to contend with an almost inexorably negative media while President Obama is only just beginning to contend with the partial perturbation of the press. As George Will pointed out on Fox News Sunday, things are just not going well for him, and it’s liable to only grow worse as his coalition of Democrats starts to break apart over his crowning legislative achievement. Via RCP:

Well, it is one thing for Bill Clinton to say, I feel your pain. It is another thing for Barack Obama to say I feel your pain that I have caused. And for him to say it was caused by a situation, that’s the word he used in the operative sentence, we, this week, marked the one year anniversary of his reelection. Has there ever, with the exception of Richard Nixon in 1973 been a worst first year of a second term? A Pew survey this week is, approval of his performance on health care — health care is his signature issue, disapproval 59 percent. That is a little bit less of the 60 percent disapproval on immigration and 65 percent on the economy. And now the Democrats are going to get to vote on some things, maybe, or at least Mr. Reid will have to stop them in the Senate. Here is, for example, the If You Like Your Plan You Can Keep It Act from Senator Ron Johnson. It is four pages long, which makes it 902 pages shorter than the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. And these are opportunities for discomfort for the supporters of the Affordable Care Act.

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David Strom 6:31 PM on October 05, 2022