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Posts Tagged ‘Approval Ratings’

FACE OFF: Obama 2005, 2006, 2008 Slam Obama 2010 Offshore Oil Drilling Policy

Thursday, April 1st, 2010

Obama 2005 and Obama 2008 Appear to be Fierce Critics of Obama 2010's offshore oil drilling plan In what is one of the most explicit flip flops of the Obama Administration, President Barack Obama pushed a new offshore oil drilling policy today in a nakedly political attempt to shore up his sagging approval ratings in the wake of the historic passage of the unpopular Obamacare package.   Of course, as the establishment media cannot bring itself to ridicule Obama for his blatant hypocrisy, the Obama 2010 statements are being lauded as a genius “triangulation” move, while essentially ignoring Obama’s own 2008 words which condemn Obama 2010′s policy as “Washington” “gimmicks” that will have only a “negligible” effect on oil production after the passage of 10 years.

In a well-worn rhetorical strategy employed by the President, Obama claimed to be above the fray, the lone centrist in world of ideologues, in his remarks today, condemning those nasty partisans who “claim drilling is a cure-all and those who would claim it has no place“:

Obama 2010 Condemned Lefties Who Say Offshore Oil Drilling "Has No Place" In Energy Policy While Obama 2005 Claimed Offshore Oil Drilling is "Not a Solution"

Ultimately, we need to move beyond the tired debates of the left and the right, between business leaders and environmentalists, between those who would claim drilling is a cure-all and those who would claim it has no place, because this issue is just too important to allow our progress to languish while we fight the same old battles over and over again.

Of course, here Obama 2010 is condemning himself, as Obama 2005 was one of the partisan ideologues who slammed offshore oil drilling and claimed “it has no place” in energy policy in back in 2005 as Senator Obama (D-IL):

We could open up every square inch of America to drilling and we still wouldn’t even make a dent in our oil dependency. We could open up ANWR today, and at its peak, which would be more than a decade from now, it would give us enough oil to take care of our transportation needs for about a month. Clearly, this is not a solution.

Despite Obama 2005′s clear admonition that new oil drilling in America is “not a solution”, today, Obama says that in fact, it is part of his “from hybrid fleets to offshore drilling” energy solution, while also noting today that his new offshore drilling initiative will reduce dependence on foreign oil. Ironically, Obama 2005 also condemned offshore drilling as both ineffectual overall and as taking at least 10 years to have any effect at all, as did Obama 2008:

“Much like his gas-tax gimmick that would leave consumers with pennies in savings, opening our coastlines to offshore drilling would take at least a decade to produce any oil at all, and the effect on gasoline prices would be negligible at best since America only has 3 percent of the world’s oil. It’s another example of short-term political posturing from Washington, not the long-term leadership we need to solve our dependence on oil.”

And, in the irony of ironies, Obama 2008 absolutely slammed 2008 GOP Presidential candidate John McCain for “his decision to completely change his position” on offshore oil drilling:

Obama on Tuesday blasted McCain for changing his stance on offshore drilling.

“John McCain’s support of the moratorium on offshore drilling during his first presidential campaign was certainly laudable, but his decision to completely change his position and tell a group of Houston oil executives exactly what they wanted to hear today was the same Washington politics that has prevented us from achieving energy independence for decades,” he said in a written statement.

“It’s another example of short-term political posturing from Washington, not the long-term leadership we need to solve our dependence on oil,” he said.

So, according to Obama 2008, McCain’s decision to “completely change his position” from the earlier 2000 Presidential campaign to support offshore oil drilling in the 2008 Presidential campaign was “the same Washington politics that has prevented us from achieving energy independence for decades.”  Obama 2008 then again slammed Obama 2010 by saying a flip-flop on offshore oil drilling is simply “short-term political posturing from Washington” and not real leadership.  The multifaceted contradictions are enough to make Americans confused as to what exactly Obama stands for on any given policy at any given time.

No word, of course, from our vaunted American media on the massive level of explicit hypocrisy inherent in Obama’s offshore oil drilling announcement today, as he now proposes a policy he condemned as a “gimmick” in the 2008 Presidential campaign. Instead, the establishment media today is worshipping Obama 2010′s move to engage in what Obama 2008 called the “same Washington games” and “short term political posturing” to try to stop his crumbling approval ratings, calling it a “political coup” and heaping praise on the President for his explicit flip flopping:

Just days after Republicans fumed that passage of the health care bill tolled the death knell for bipartisanship, there was a very different message coming from some GOP quarters Wednesday: praise for President Barack Obama’s decision to lift the ban on some offshore oil drilling.

Credit Obama with pulling off a small political coup – one you could even call triangulation lite.

The price he paid in political terms was relatively small: Angry blowback from environmental activists who still support his overall climate change policy.

But the short-term benefits were large: By announcing the policy change, Obama defused a potentially potent Republican issue ahead of the summer gas spike and the fall midterms, while embracing major elements of the GOP’s “all of the above” energy approach to kick-start a stalled climate change bill.

And the drilling decision also allows the president to distance himself from liberal environmentalists disdained by some pro-drilling, blue-collar voters.

“It’s not a bad thing to show you’re willing to do something that gets liberals angry right after you pass the biggest liberal bill in a generation,” said a Senate Democrat staffer, whose boss opposes the policy.

MSNBC, of course, goes over the top in praising Obama 2010′s offshore drilling policy today, ignoring his prior statements which attack those who proposed increased offshore oil drilling while even going so far as to claim that Obama “has been a supporter of drilling” while forgetting about his prior, inconsistent statements from 2008 and 2005 entirely and finally focusing on the alleged “middle ground” Obama was trying to forge:

For a president on a roll following a big health care win, Wednesday’s drilling declaration was both aggressive and pragmatic. Even with a push for cleaner energy sources and efficient cars — and with promises of protection for ecosystems and coastal tourism — the nation still needs more oil, Obama said.

Obama has been a supporter of drilling as part of a broader energy agenda, and the White House played down any talk of wooing Republicans.

He implored people to accept a middle ground between viewing drilling as a cure-all or claiming it has no place in an energy portfolio.

Said the president: “This issue is just too important to allow our progress to languish while we fight the same old battles.”

The Obama Brand, as built by David Axelrod and the establishment media in 2007 and 2008, is one of a “pragmatic” “post-partisan” leader who pursues centrist policies and desires to change the evil ways of “Washington”. The historically partisan passage of Obamacare over bipartisan opposition in the House and Senate by solely Democratic congresspeople, via the use of historically unparalleled levels of pork and special interest deals, conclusively debunked the media-created narrative known as the Obama Brand. However, the establishment media, as loyal Obama supporters, remain committed to attempting to avoid discussion of these facts and instead pretend that Obama is a centrist leader with cheer-leading reports such as the Politico’s (“triangulation”) and MSNBC (“middle ground”), amongst others.

This sudden Obama lurch to embrace the McCain 2008 energy policy of “drill baby drill”, on the heels of the powerfully pro-American speech to troops in a surprise trip to Afghanistan, appears clearly designed to take the focus of his unpopular Obamacare legislation and hit notes that conservatives will be attracted to.

In terms of substance, Obama’s new offshore oil drilling policies are much ado about nothing, as they do not cut back on the massive amount of red tape inherent in the present, ineffective system for allowing domestic oil exploration, and even the decision to issue a lease, let alone actually drill anything, likely won’t be made until after the next Presidential election. Indeed, Obama’s announcement today can only be seen as a naked political play at a time when his base of support is eroding in the aftermath of Obamacare.

The long term benefit of this Obama approach politically is open to question, as the two politicians most tied to advocating increased offshore drilling – Sarah Palin (“drill baby drill”) and George W. Bush – are hated with an extreme passion by many, if not most, of Obama’s remaining supporters. Ironically, this offshore oil drilling flip flop may end up cutting into Obama’s hardcore leftist base more than it builds any additional conservative or centrist support, as Greenpeace and others have absolutely slammed Obama 2010′s offshore drilling policy:

On the heels of his victory on healthcare and student aid reform, President Obama announced today that he would kowtow to the oil industry and allow exploration and drilling in 167 million acres of coastal waters that have been protected for decades.

Obama’s proposal would allow oil and gas exploration in the coastal waters of the southern Atlantic states and the eastern Gulf of Mexico, threatening fishing and tourism industries in those regions. But the news is even worse for Alaska’s Beaufort and Chukchi Seas, which are especially sensitive to oil drilling because they provide critical habitat for polar bears, whales, seals and other distinctive Arctic species.

Incredibly, despite dire warnings from the scientific community that we are approaching a tipping point in Earth’s climate system, Mr. Obama has set us on a course toward more dependence on fossil fuels.

The NYT shows its concern about this latest Obama move, noting that his policy will likely fail to increase domestic oil prodcution or bring over GOP support for his next massive new government initiative: cap and trade, as the NYT shows a rare inability to spin an Obama action in a positive light, concluding that “even Obama sounded somewhat conflicted“:

In proposing a major expansion of offshore oil and gas development, President Barack Obama set out to fashion a carefully balanced plan that would attract bipartisan support for climate and energy legislation while increasing production of domestic oil.

It is not clear that the plan announced Wednesday will do either.

Even Obama sounded somewhat conflicted in announcing a drilling plan that would open large tracts of the Atlantic coast, the eastern Gulf of Mexico and Arctic waters off Alaska to oil exploration and eventual drilling.

It may be that those who remained supporters of President Obama all through the grueling health care battle will peel away with revulsion at the crass political maneuvering by Obama today that pretty clearly endorses a Sarah Palin talking point that liberals incessantly ridiculed for years: “drill baby drill”. However, in the short term, Obama’s approval ratings will benefit from his conservative rhetoric on Afghanistan and offshore oil drilling.

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USAT/Gallup: Obama’s Disapproval hits 50% as 53% Say Dems Abused Power in Passing Obamacare

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

President Barack Obama may end up regretting his pursuit of comprehensive health care reform as his disapproval contiues to rise along with the public's disapproval of the now-passed Obamacare

As noted by Centristnet back over the weekend, President Barack Obama continues to sink in the eyes of the American people in the wake of the historic passage of Obamacare, with a brand new USA Today/Gallup released today showing Obama’s overall job approval underwater as only 47% approve while an all-time high of 50% of Americans disapprove of the job Obama is doing as President:

Obama’s approval rating was 47%-50% — the first time his disapproval rating has hit 50%.

Such elevated levels of disapproval for President Obama remind some of the net-negative approval ratings of his predecessor, George W. Bush, that consumed the Bush Presidency as public concern over the Iraqi war mounted. Indeed, Obamacare may end up being Barack Obama’s Iraq should the public’s views on Obamacare not reverse themselves in the near future. Before long, many national congressional Democrats and state-level Democrats may begin to resent the OBama Administration for saddling them with such a massive, unpopular policy in the lead-up to the November 2010 elections.

For Obama, it is the public’s concern with his massive comprehensive health care plan known as Obamacare that is driving up his disapproval and causing the number of his supporters to shrink. While USA Today and Gallup, along with the remainder of the establishment media, White House Spokesman Robert Gibbs and most other Democrats did push a very shaky and perhaps misleading one-day poll last week showing Obamacare improbably at 49% approval/41% disapproval, one week later this fresh, multi-day poll shows Obamacare as unpopular as ever at 50% disapproval. Several of the criticisms of the prior one-day Gallup poll are, ironically, reprinted today by USA Today in its release of the new Gallup numbers:

The poll of 1,033 adults, taken by land line and cellphone Friday through Sunday, has a margin of error of +/–4 percentage points.

Half call passage of the bill “a bad thing” and 47% “a good thing.” That differs from a one-day USA TODAY poll taken March 22 — a day after the House approved the legislation — in which a 49%-40% plurality called the bill “a good thing.”

“Any one-day poll in the immediate aftermath of a major event is likely to be subject not only to sampling error but also to very short-term effects,” says political scientist Charles Franklin of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. At the time, “the news cycle was dominated by the positive side of the story, and only a little bit by the Republicans’ rebuttal to that.”

The undeniable problem for Obama and the Democrat is that a two-thirds majority of the American public simply does not believe their talking points on health care reform, making any increase in popularity unlikely and further declines probable:

Nearly two-thirds of Americans say the health care overhaul signed into law last week costs too much and expands the government’s role in health care too far, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds, underscoring an uphill selling job ahead for President Obama and congressional Democrats.

Those surveyed are inclined to fear that the massive legislation will increase their costs and hurt the quality of health care their families receive, although they are more positive about its impact on the nation’s health care system overall.

Finally, the coordinated campaign of Democrats and the establishment media to smear opponents of Obamacare as racist, terrorist extremists by highlighting post-Obamacare incidents of alleged violence, threats and slurs has apparently fizzled as well as 53% call Democratic tactics in ramming through Obamacare an “abuse of power” while most (49%) blame such abusive Democratic tactics as the cause of any alleged violence or threats:

There was a strong reaction against the tactics Democratic leaders used to pass the bill. A 53% majority call Democratic methods “an abuse of power;” 40% say they are appropriate.

And when asked about incidents of vandalism and threats that followed the bill’s passage, Americans are more inclined to blame Democratic political tactics than critics’ harsh rhetoric. Forty-nine percent say Democratic tactics are “a major reason” for the incidents, while 46% blame criticism by conservative commentators and 43% the criticism of Republican leaders.

As the details of the still largely-unknown Obamacare package continue to dribble out, such as the fact that the ban on insurer denials of coverage to children with preexisting conditions will not take immediately as claimed by Obama but instead 2014 and the rolling announcements of first quarter losses taken by America’s blue chip companies because of Obamacare (as epitomized by AT&T’s one billion dollar loss), it is very possible that the popularity of Obamacare will decline even further, as “continued opposition will fuel calls for repeal and dog Democrats in November’s congressional elections. The bill was enacted without a single Republican vote.”

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Post-Obamacare Collapse: Obama 46% Approval Matches All-Time Low in Gallup

Sunday, March 28th, 2010

After last week's historic passage of the Obamacare package, President Obama approval today matches the all-time low of his Presidency: 46%

In another crushing blow to the “conventional wisdom” of the establishment media that because “Americans love winners” President Barack Obama would receive a large, sustained bounce in approval after last week’s passage of Obamacare, today Gallup released its daily approval numbers showing Obama at only 46% approval, with 46% disapproving. Obama’s 46% approval in Gallup represents a matching of Obama’s all-time low in approval. While Obama did peak at 51% mid-week after the passage of Obamacare, he has now lost that entire bounce and is at the low of his Presidency, which completely repudiates the “conventional wisdom” in the establishment media.

Further, Rasmussen’s numbers this morning confirm this dissipation of any alleged “bounce” from the passage of Obamacare, with Rasmussen finding Obama’s approval numbers now at the same level as before the passage of Obamacare:

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Sunday shows that 28% of the nation’s voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Forty-four percent (44%) Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -16 (see trends).

The President enjoyed a modest bounce in the polls following the passage of health care legislation last week. However, his Approval Index rating is now back to where it was last Sunday, just before the House voted in favor of his health care plan. All the bouncing of the past week has come among Democrats. There has been virtually no change in the opinions of Republicans and unaffiliated voters.

White House spokesman is sure to face questions about this post-Obamacare collapse in the President’s approval ratings, as Gibbs himself last week tweeted out the Gallup one-day poll on Obamacare as a truthful and reliable indicator of the public’s views.

This continued collapse in Obama’s approval, with an all-time low of 46% in Gallup and a near all-time high in Rasmussen of 44% strong disapproval today, demonstrates the failure of the Democratic strategy to smear the tea party as racist extremists as well. Indeed, ABC/WaPo’s numbers this morning show the tea party is favorably viewed by the American public, despite this smear campaign by the Democrats and the establishment media. Numbers such as these are sure to encourage the Republicans to continue to attack the Obamacare package as a historic mistake and ensure that the cry of “replace and repeal” is heard in every congressional race across the nation in the leadup to the November 2010 elections.

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Obama Approval Bounce Over: Gallup and Rasmussen Show Declines

Saturday, March 27th, 2010

President Obama May Need To Tap his "Superman" Skills to Push His Approval Ratings Back Up to a Majority of Americans in the wake of the historic passage of Obamacare

After the historic passage of President Barack Obama’s signature initiative, Obamacare, the President received a bump in approval in the two main daily tracking polls, Gallup and Rasmussen. Obama reached as high as 51% approval (amongst all adults) in Gallup, while he reached a peak of 49% (amongst likely voters) in Rasmussen last week after passage of the Obamacare package. Today, the results taken for the three day period of Wednesday, Thursday and Friday show President Obama again on the decline, sliding to 48% approval/45% disapproval in Gallup while declining to 47% approval/53% disapproval in Rasmussen.

These results may be somewhat of a shock to the DC political and media establishment, as the “conventional wisdom” of almost all Democratic politicians and establishment media reports has been that President Obama would receive a sustained and significant increase in his popularity after the passage of the historic Obamacare package.   In addition to the polls noted above, the post-Obamacare passage polling by well-respected Quinnipiac University cut against the claim of any significant bounce for Obama at all, as Quinnipiace found Obama to be underwater at 45% approval/46% disapproval in the two days following the historic House passage of Obamacare after finding Obama at 46%/49% immediately before the passage.

President Barack Obama's long term trend of declining approval by the American public appears to have not been broken by the passage of Obamacare

Indeed, the small bump and ongoing dissipation of same in Obama’s approval after the passage of his signature initiative is quite similar to the brief bump Obama received after his State of the Union (“SOTU”) address in late January 2010. The SOTU bounce peaked a few days after the speech and was completely dissipated in about 10 days, and it appears from today’s Gallup and Rasmussen numbers that a similar pattern is occurring in the wake of Obamacare’s passage.

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