President Barack Obama’s foreign policy approval ratings are lower than they’ve ever been, according to a recent New York Times/CBS News poll.
Fifty-eight percent of Americans disapprove of Obama’s foreign policy, and even liberals are turning in the wake of the administration’s response to Iraq: 30 percent of Democrats disapprove of Obama’s foreign policy generally, and 32 percent disapprove of his handling of Iraq. (RELATED: Obama Won’t Try To Stop Al-Qaida Army In Iraq)
One Democrat interviewed by the Times said she voted for Obama because “he said, ‘Give me four more years and I will fix everything,’ but nothing is being fixed.” Now, 25 percent of Democrats disapprove of Obama’s presidency overall.
Obama announced last week that he will send 300 military advisers to Iraq to train Iraqi soldiers, but the advisers will not enter combat themselves. He also sent Secretary of State John Kerry – who has denied any U.S. responsibility for the current crisis — to meet with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki Monday. Iraqi and American politicians are pressuring al-Maliki to step down.
While the U.S. had been an enthusiastic supporter of Maliki since he assumed office in 2006, Washington officials have indicated they’re willing to bail on “the mayor of Baghdad,” and are now hoping for someone who can unite an increasingly fractured Iraq. (RELATED: Rand Paul Says US Over-Involvement Is Creating ‘Jihadist Wonderland’ In Iraq)
Leaders on the ground are skeptical of the administration’s aspirations, however, with the Kurdish president telling Kerry Tuesday that they are “facing a new reality and a new Iraq” – signalling that the Kurds may not back the multi-sectarian Iraqi government the U.S. appears to be seeking. (RELATED: Former CIA Chief Says Iraq Doesn’t Exist)
Meanwhile, in Eastern Europe, where Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko have been taking tentative steps toward a ceasefire in Ukraine, tapes were leaked of the Polish foreign minister calling the U.S.-Polish alliance “bullshit” and complaining that the U.S. can’t be trusted as an ally. The Russian foreign ministry seemed amused, saying that “The essence of [Polish Foreign Minister] Radoslaw Sikorski’s statements indicates his political realism.”
Obama resumed communications with Putin this week, restating his willingness to impose further sanctions if Putin doesn’t stop the flow of weapons to separatists in Ukraine. (RELATED: Putin Backs Ukraine Truce, But Puts Troops On Alert)
The president spent Monday at a “working families summit” co-sponsored by the Center for American Progress, pushing for a higher minimum wage and currying favor with the largely female, pro-union audience. Tuesday evening, he will host the Presidents Cup golf team at the White House.