A new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds that Barack Obama's approval rating is just 43%. This means that he will end the year “with lower approval ratings than almost all other recent two-term presidents,” according to the Washington Post. To give you an idea, at this same time in his presidency, George W. Bush enjoyed a 47% approval rating compared to Obama's 43%.
Ron Fournier has a piece today, “This is the End of the Presidency,” which draws nine comparisons to Bush's first year of his second term to Barack Obama's. For a man who desperately tried to convince voters that he was different from the much-maligned George W. Bush, Barack Obama has essentially slid into the same trappings.
The incompetent rollout of the ObamaCare exchanges definitely plays a role in Obama's decline, but it has affected his ability to lead on other issues as well. For example, more Americans now believe that Republicans (45%) could do a better job handling the economy compared to Obama (41%).
One thing that Obama has managed to do quite well this year is lie to the American people. Last week Politifact named Obama's “keep your healthcare plan” promise to be the lie of the year. Today the Washington Post has revealed its biggest Pinocchios for 2013, and Barack Obama claimed three out of the ten spots on the list. “If you like your healthcare plan, you can keep your healthcare plan” was clearly among them. The other two were related to sequestration and Benghazi.
Between the lies, the scandals and the disastrous rollout of ObamaCare, it's difficult to imagine how Barack Obama recovers from this. His approval numbers will rise somewhat, but he will never again enjoy the wild popularity he once did. It will also be interesting to see how Obama's decline in the polls, and the failure of ObamaCare, translates into votes for Democrats next year. Former Democratic pollster Patrick Caddell told Fox News that Democrats could probably lose the Senate over ObamaCare.
The perception of incompetence will be a difficult one for this administration to shake. In fact, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is looking to spend more of your tax money to hire a firm to help the agency not seem “ignorant and unaware.” According to Breitbart, “The HHS hiring notice states that it needs assistance in tracking and monitoring media stories so that HHS staff remain abreast of 'how the department and its agencies are being cast in the public eye.'” Perhaps Kathleen Sebelius should be more concerned about the fact that this administration lied to the American people about the cost of their healthcare plans. Recently in Miami, Sebelius admitted that Americans will be paying more under ObamaCare! For an administration so obsessed with controlling the message, perhaps they should have focused on making those messages truthful.
But if you ask the administration, the “obsession” is on the part of the Republicans who are obsessed with sabotaging ObamaCare, according to Jay Carney. This is just the latest strategy on the part of this administration. Knowing that it has completely bungled ObamaCare, they are now attempting to make this the fault of the GOP. First it was the fact that the GOP refused to tweak or reform ObamaCare and therefore the problems were due to Republican stubbornness rather than Democrats incompetence in passing the bill in the first place. Now the Republicans are saboteurs because they are daring to investigate the nature of ObamaCare navigators. Jay Carney made this claim yesterday, as did Kathleen Sebelius who penned an op-ed accusing Republicans of stifling and intimating ObamaCare navigators. Never mind the fact that the safety and security of the American people could be at stake by allowing people to become navigators without background checks. But somehow this problem is now the Republicans' fault because they are exposing the truth and looking out for the American people.
Unfortunately for Democrats and this administration, this attempt to blame the Republicans isn't going to work. The bad news for Democrats is that more bad news related to ObamaCare is coming down the pipeline. Politico reports today that rate increases for small businesses is the next crisis to rear its head for ObamaCare. At this point, this crisis is expected to hit in October, which will be right before the mid-term election.
Meanwhile, the deluge of stories related to ObamaCare continues to stream into the news cycle. Here are more of the latest:
- States say most uninsured still won't be covered in 2014 (Washington Examiner)
- Cancer Patient Will Lose Healthcare For A Month Because Of ObamaCare (Washington Free Beacon)
- ObamaCare for Obama? Not Yet, Carney Says (CNS News)
- South Carolina Firefighters Facing Millions in Extra Costs Due to ObamaCare (Washington Free Beacon)
- ObamaCare brings significant changes to small employers' insurance (Journal Sentinel)
- Obamacare Escapes the Chains of Law (Daily Caller)
This is an opportunity for conservatives to step up and fill the leadership void when it comes to ideas and solutions.