Obama has lost more ground than Gaddafi. A new Gallup poll shows faith in his leadership is crumbling among Democrats and Republicans alike. And given his penchant for getting involved in a crisis once it’s too late to make a difference, he might want to intervene in his own presidency now.
It’s been happening for 26 months without him. His landslide ’08 win helped Democrats expand their lead in Congress, and had some pundits predicting a permanent Democratic realignment. But in the months since, he’s gone from being the biggest star in the world — Time magazine’s Man of the Year and a Nobel Peace Prize winner — to being the Invisible Man.
I’d hide too if I had his record. Obamacare, his administration’s signature accomplishment, turned overnight from an asset to a liability that no Democrat dared mention in the midterms. Now whole states are getting Obamacare waivers and even healthcare reform supporters — Rep. Anthony Weiner, for instance — are looking for the exits. There’s been no effort to stem the national debt — in fact, Obama has added trillions to it since taking office — and no movement on entitlement reform.
But Obama has to step up sometime. His hands-off approach to everything from BP’s oil spill to healthcare reform, DADT repeal and the Middle East uprisings is eroding his own base. Gallup’s new poll, for instance, shows public perceptions of him as a “strong leader” dropping 21 points since his inauguration: 52 percent now call him decisive; 48 percent forgot he was president.
Two weeks ago, when he told a White House conference on childhood bullying that bullying leads to “absence and poor performance,” I thought he was about to blame his presidency on it. Even Democrats are fed up with his equivocating. 2012 is coming up. He’d be smart to get involved.
Dorian Davis is a former MTV HITS star turned libertarian writer. He’s been published in Business Week, NY Daily News, XY & more. He’s an NYU graduate and National Journalism Center alum. He teaches journalism at Marymount Manhattan College.