Shock analysis: Public confidence in Obama's leadership shaken

The political spectacle that preceded a bipartisan deal this month to raise the debt ceiling and the subsequent downgrading of America’s credit rating by a leading rating agency have spawned stories in the media about America’s decline as a world power on Obama’s watch.

And opinion polls show that Obama’s job approval ratings are edging downward even as members of his own Democratic Party grumble about his leadership and fault his willingness to make concessions to opposition Republicans in Congress…

“It is hard to imagine public optimism being more negative about the economy than it is right now. … In terms of pubic opinion he has got a huge hill to climb,” said Karlyn Bowman, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute think tank.