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Saturday, December 16, 2017

In March 2008, President George W. Bush’s approval rating was about 32 percent, according to Gallup, and the Labor Department reported unemployment rate had just risen to 5.1 percent.

In March of 1984, President Ronald Reagan’s approval was 51 percent with a 5.7 unemployment rate.

In March of 2016, President Barack Obama’s approval rating has peaked at 53 percent, a three-year high, with a 4.9 percent unemployment rate, an eight year low.

Comparing these two top-line statistics to the last two-term Republican presidents nearing the dusk of their service is a good way to get Republicans to start fuming with excuses, citing statistics they’d never cared about before or explaining that Obama’s popularity just doesn’t count.

Spinning and skewing is what you’re left with when you’re losing.

And the battle to equate President Obama’s legacy with the disaster of the George W. Bush presidency is failing miserably. The question now is: will Obama’s popularity continue to rise, as Reagan’s and Bill Clinton’s did in their last months in office? Or might it sink, or hover around where it is now, which is about the best you can expect in a hyper-polarized political world?

Here are five reasons Barack Obama is becoming more popular, and why this trend may well continue.

  1. He’s excelled at the most important job he was hired to do.
    Forget insuring 20 million Americans, fueling a renewable energy sector that could save the world, creating the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, appointing two eminently qualified Supreme Court Justices, or even negotiating to peacefully remove nearly all of Iran’s enriched uranium. Forget — but only for a minute, because these are real concerns that are being cynically deployed by conservatives who’ve backed policies that have created our long-term economic problems — the problems of labor force participation, wage growth, and other measures that indicate too much wealth is being sucked up to the top. Let’s just focus on the most important job this president had to do: stop a layoff crisis. As he took office, layoffs were at a 26-year high.
    layoffsThey are now near a 33-year low in raw numbers. These are raw numbers — not adjusted by how many people there are working. Fewer people are being laid off now than at any time since 1973. That may be because we have more people working in the gig economy with less job security, and without the benefits and bargaining power that come from a strong labor movement (which the right has systemically dismantled). But that was true in 2008 when Obama came into office and we were losing half a million jobs a month. Add in this chart and you see just how far we’ve come:
    fredgraphMore Americans are working than ever before and initial unemployment claims continue to be below .2 percent of the workforce — a modern record and possibly the lowest per capita… ever.
  2. GOP debates always turn into Obama commercials.
    During a flurry of GOP debates last year, Republican candidates waged a propaganda war against Obama’s record that encouraged Americans to be terrified of anything that casts a shadow. Record audiences tuned into an infomercial about the president’s failures. Then the field narrowed, and the GOP frontrunner was bragging about his dick from the center podium of a nationally-televised debate stage. Suddenly, a president who has been attacked from the right for being too “nuanced” didn’t seem so bad.
  3. Trump is terrible and the other candidates aren’t much better.
    Donald Trump justifiably gets lots of grief for his demagoguery, his tendency toward fascism, and his barely-disguised bigotry. But when you listen to the other GOP candidates, you realize that their rhetoric is freighted with the same sort of dark warnings and ecstatic paranoia that has made Trump possible. Take Marco Rubio. Or take him apart, as Business Insider’s Josh Barro did:

    Remember, Rubio is the candidate who says President Barack Obama is “undermining this country” as “part of a plan to weaken America on the global stage.” Rubio says of Obama that “all this damage that he’s done to America is deliberate.” He attacked the president’s choice to speak at a mosque as an example of his “constant pitting people against each other,” which is “hurting our country badly.”
    Last month, when CNN asked Rubio’s spokesman Alex Conant whether the senator believes Obama is “intentionally trying to destroy the country,” Conant said “absolutely.”

  4. Circumstances beyond our control affect us more than we ever like to realize.
    Eight years ago no one imagined that one of the biggest problems in the global economy would be the declining cost of oil, which has resulted in extraordinarily low gas prices — a sudden tax break of sorts desperately needed by struggling Americans and despised by the global energy sector. President Obama’s policies had some play on this sudden break for low-income workers, but some factors are just beyond our control. Just as Saudi oil production may have hastened the end of the Soviet Union, a global oil glut offers both promise and peril for the current global economy. “In general, presidents and their policies matter much less for the economy’s performance than most people imagine,” Paul Krugman recently wrote. And even though jobs created under the last three Democratic presidents more than double those created under the last three Republicans, policy isn’t always enough to overcome the slings and arrows of a planet constantly in flux. The American economy, one the strongest in the world during recent shocks, has shown resiliency. That can always change, but one of the virtues voters seem to recognize in Obama is that, facing constant crises and even a humanitarian disaster of massive proportions in Syria, his presidency embodies the old Niebuhr adage: Obama accepts the things he cannot change, the courage to change the things he can, and the wisdom to know the difference. Because he’s seen the damage that the Iraq War has done and all he knows for sure is that he doesn’t want another one.
  5. He’s thinking ahead when his opponents don’t even seem to think.
    Despite Republican objections otherwise, Barack Obama is still president. For him not to be able to fill a Supreme Court vacancy with more than 300 days left in his term would be an historic injustice. But that’s exactly the Republican plan. They immediately promised to even deny his nominee a hearing in the Senate. Instead of reacting angrily, the president has slowly and deliberately worked to select the person he’ll appoint and the strategy he’ll need to make sure that person ends up on the nation’s highest court. Facing a firm no, the president has assumed that the rhetoric he faces is as empty as it sounds. Will he win again? Only time will tell — and time seems to be on Barack Obama’s side.

Photo: President Obama holds a meeting with financial regulators to receive an update on their progress in implementing Wall Street at the White House in Washington March 7, 2016.   REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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Copyright 2016 The National Memo

50 Responses to 5 Reasons President Obama’s Approval Rating Is At a 3-Year High

    • Don’t worry. Historical texts will present the truth to the world, in perpetuity. Excepting, of course, those published in Texas.

      • In Texas, where I try to live and can only do that fairly well because I live in a Democratic county, Bexar County, San Antonio, TX, you learn what happens when your voting rights have been gerrymandered and messed with. It isn’t pretty, as the entire nation knows. We end up sending some of the most ignorant, embarrassing Republicans to the US Senate and House. Those Democrats we manage to send, never disappoint and make us proud, intelligent, well-educated, and motivated to serve the people because they are one of us and understand what life and the human condition is about.

        We have a decreased number of Democrat representation in this primary because of the voting rights restrictions lately in force, compounded by the gerrymandering of districts in place for two decades.

        That means, all of us “able” to vote must make the effort to vote, no matter the election, each and every time, to do the best we can for Texas, and, to add to the rest of the nation who CAN still vote Democrat and make it all count. It means that all of the rest of you can never sit any election out, or, you will end up like Texas. Peace. Victory. Together.

        • Bravo, Nana! Well said and well done. It’s comforting to know that there still exist rational, thoughtful people – and enclaves of democracy – in the Lone Star State. I’ll see you at the polls in about eight months, when we throw those Turd Party “patriots” a beating that Chlorox won’t get out.

  1. sure now the people with a half of brain can see better with DONNY DUMP;S CLOWN SHOW and knowing the B/S the king clown could get the country in PRES. OBAMA isn’t looking that bad now . but one has to understand the whole GOP gang of idiots party want only for them self and the 1 and 2 % of the greedy bastard rich . no matter what that cost the middle class and the rest of the 98%. the GOP gang of idiots go only for today when are people going to understand that ? thy care nothing about the future (in their deranged minds thy will all be dead then ) so its what thy can do today and not even for the most of the country and its people . just the very few of a % . thy are so out of touch for what tommrow will bring that thy cant understand the facts on globle warming ( better more like thy don’t want too ) has the PRES. OBAMA done a prefect job ? maybe not to some. but I believe it the people was to think about things more while we gave him 2 teams that we should voted in people that could help him help us more and better . rather then have a gang of childish idiots blocking every thing thy can from the start ( DITCH O’DUMMY ) saying he will never get a 2nd term . OOOPS MITCH that didn’t work if the people went with what thy did all the way and put in people that would help today im sure the country would have the numbers of 100 million with med. health not Obama care either but the ACA GOP IDIOTS governers stopped these chances by the states of the country by not letting it come in their state is the ACA a great thing can it use some things to make it better ? yes im sure it might be able to be better . but there still is a start to is how did SSI go over when it first started ? im sure there was bumps in the road time and people made it better . the GOP gang of idiots want to repail it and replace it (so thy say ) but as many times as thy went to block the ACA (like 50 or more ?) none had a plan replacement for it thy just want to get rid of it . what in 25 years thy might come up with a plan to replace it with ? (and if it came from the GOP im sure it would be a big pile of B/S) what’s even funnier is the fact that the ACA is a form of ROMNEY CARE witch he formed for the state of MA. (and it works great there ) but even after ROMNEY did this good thing for MA. while running for the house he wanted to get rid of it .(because he is a GOP ) and the GOP gang of idiot want nothing to do with something good and that helps the people of the country . now ill tell you if it was for just the 1 an 2 % rich greedy bastards of the country’s people then it would be all good im sure

  2. His approval rating can ONLY go up. It is like the stock market going up to its normal position after 8 years , ho hum.

    • The stock market was at 7,000 points when President Obama was first inaugurated. The DOW Index reached an all time high under President Obama and it is now at over 17,000 points.
      Gas prices reached an all time record high in 2008 (about $4.60 a gallon), when W was in office, it is now around $1.70 a gallon.
      Consumer confidence was at an all time low in January 2009. Foreclosures and bankruptcies were the order of the day. Deregulation, and/or lack of enforcement of existing regulations, contributed to the ENRON, AIG, Lehman Brothers, and Bernie Madoff scandals, and the Wall Street speculation that almost destroyed our economy.
      Unfunded crusades, irresponsible tax breaks, reliance on deficit spending, and the belief that trickle down economic was going to keep us afloat, economically and fiscally, at a time when American investors, and some would be politicians, were investing heavily overseas and corporations were moving some of their facilities abroad to benefit from lower labor costs and to expand market share, brought our economy to the dump, and resulted in the end of our ability to dream of a better future for our children.
      Blaming the man that ended up holding the bag – and who saved the day against robust opposition, obstructionism, and relentless attack – is understandable, from a political perspective. Let’s face it, what else can the GOP do in the face of undeniable evidence? What is truly perplexing is the naivete of so many fellow Americans, more inclined to believe what charlatans tell them, than consider the evidence in front of their noses.

      • I agree totally, the current Trump supporters are not Republicans that caused this . These supporters demand a correction from the corrupted Profit takers both Republicans and Democrats . 99% of the supporters are against the. Olde gaurd republicans that caused this. The remaining 1% are in Congress . The Supporters are hardworking , self reliant types , and that they can not go to the other political party either. They are anti NAFTA ,anti entitlements, and are National Security conscious AND NOT RACIStT . Categorizing this group as otherwise only solidifies Their resolve to get back on track .

  3. Right now with the right it’s a case of what are you going to believe, the facts or what we tell you. People like Rush and Glenn will keep feeding their followers lies and the sheep will keep believing it. Trump will try to sell the idea of “Make America Great Again” but he never tells us when it was greater then today.

  4. There are many reasons for President Obama’s popularity, ranging from the fact that his policies helped save the U.S. economy from the collapse predicted by George W. Bush in 2008, to replacing the loss of 800,000 jobs in one month to an average of 250,000 jobs a month being created at the present time; to reducing budget deficits by two thirds, in part by not engaging in unfunded crusades, and by reducing the civil servant workforce by 700,000 positions, while putting in place effective policies to benefit from smaller government.
    Add to all this his ability to limit our involvement in unnecessary wars, reducing the number of U.S. casualties from 4,700 to 1 during the last 3 years, and not having another 9/11, and it is not too difficult to understand why people are finally paying attention to reality instead of the mirage created by the powerful Republican disinformation machine and its influence in the U.S. media.
    Last, but not least, is the obvious difference between a professional, highly qualified, calm, and pragmatic leader; and the narcissism, irresponsibility, immaturity, and lack of substance that characterize the discourse we hear from the Republican candidates running for President.
    President Obama is, without a doubt, one of the best Presidents this country had in several decades.

    • “and the narcissism, irresponsibility, immaturity, and lack of substance
      that characterize the discourse we hear from the Republican candidates
      running for President.”

      that also applies to the teabag republicans in the house and senate.

    • Speaking from outside the USA: Apart from his Drone policy, I agree.
      Obama is also the only reason the USA is not unilaterally disliked around the world. GW Bush & Cheney poisoned the well with their war adventurism and lies, but Obama gave everyone else some hope you might change course from rampant jingoistic idiocy abroad, and disrepair, fragmentation and destroying your own people at home.
      This will change rapidly with someone like Trump at the helm.

  5. President Obama stopped our fall into another great depression. Republican economic policies will always, if allowed to continue, put us in a depression.

      • Certainly not always, but it is fair to point out that the two worst economic collapses in our modern history come during, or at the end, of republican administrations.

      • Hoover adopted austerity in 1930 and the country slipped into a depression. Ford adopted austerity in 1973 (remember WIN? I do) and the recession grew worse. Jimmy Carter took a page from Ford’s book, continued austerity and the country suffer longer. Reagan finally began a stimulus (buying grossly overpriced military hardware and adding $4T to our then-miniscule $400B national debt) that began a recovery that lasted through Clinton’s administration.

  6. “He’s thinking ahead when his opponents don’t even seem to think.”
    Obama plays chess, and the republicans play checkers, like a 6 year old.

  7. When Hillary asked us to take our support for her to then Sen Obama, I cried, but, I started paying more attention to him, and, in short term, gladly gave him all of my support and I have never been disappointed in him, but, have grown to deeply respect, appreciate, and care about him. I have watched my 4 grandchildren, ages 7 to 13 yrs at that time, pay rapt attention to current events, to listen to the President’s every word, and to tell me that he is also a Dad and that he and his wife care about us kids. It doesn’t get better than that, although all of his amazing accomplishments in office are very good!

    The ugly statements, allegations, insults, slurs, defamation, and stunts to obstruct, sabotage, and delegitimize him use to hurt and anger me, a lot. Consequently, Republicans began to lose credibility and my respect over these years.

    Now, as they continue with the same meme and narrative, the same trash talk, during this primary, and I look at the dozen and half allegedly equally competent candidates with which to replace him, the best President since FDR, and the descent into total demoralization that they have fallen today, those barbs and arrows, the slander and slurs at him and our two candidates, especially Hillary, are nothing but pathetic. They do not hurt; they do not anger me.

    It is pathetic that they wasted 7 1/2 years obstructing and engaging in the same trash that their candidates now engage in, instead of participating and sharing in accomplishments that they could tout in this campaign. Now, they must live with, and own, the pathos in full display in their primary, one being that their nominee will be either the sickest, biggest fraud ignorant of constitutional and international law; a bull in a china shop re interpersonal relations and communication; and, indeed, a pathological liar, among his other symptomatiology, from whom I would not consider buying a used car or a can of soda, or, the McCarthy-lite sleaze lying, bomb thrower, who took them to the government shutdown and fled town when it all hit the fan, with nothing else to show for his short time in the Senate. Someone resurrercted Palin, which reminds us of how seriously Republicans take government and the office of the President. And even Christie, this morning sitting next to Trump, with flags draped behind them, in which Christie is “interviewing” Trump, but can’t get a question in, which is a skit tailor made for SNL.

    It’s all so very pathetic. I cannot lament the lost Republican Party anymore. They built this, they own it, even as they blame everyone else with “the dog ate my homework”. This is what purging your Party of experienced statesmen to make it “Conservative” and all of the ignorance and incompetence that has produced, a flawed product that does not work, breaks easily, and does not have marketing appeal.

    Those grandchildren of mine, and yours, now entering college and finishing high school, deserve better. They deserve a President like the one who taught them what a President is supposed to be. The deserve a President like the one they grew up with.

    • Beautifully put.
      The saddest thing is:
      In simple terms this has all been fairly obvious to anyone looking at the Republican Party for the last 6-7 years, and has been written about, commented on, and talked about repeatedly… both here and in all sorts of other news and information outlets.
      It’s also been unilaterally dismissed by anyone in the GOP Bubble. Along with the accusation that the mainstream media (i.e. anyone that is outside the bubble) have a liberal bias.

      It actually has continually reminded me of that moment where Karl Rove was predicting a Romney win on Live TV… stating all their bubble-polls and bubble-logic… and was interrupted with news of Romney’s defeat…
      There is a moment there where the delusion that had been built up on the right was shattered by reality and replaced with astonishment and shock.

      This is what I see being played out now in slow motion. The bubble logic, and bubble lies, and bubble dog-whistles, and bubble strategies, slowly being exposed to withering sunlight, and then slowly ripped apart through the activities of Trump, and to a lesser extent, Rubio and Cruz.

      Why? Because there is only one end in sight for a party who:
      1) Has an actual platform built on racism, and denies the obvious race problems in the country… when the “white” people are rapidly becoming a minority.
      2) Has an actual platform built on “Religious Freedom” laws… an obvious coded term for LGBT hatred and discrimination…. when millennial voters in increasing numbers care about equality, and have no issues with anyone’s sexual identity, or marriage preference.
      4) Has an actual platform built on anti-immigrant rhetoric and policies… when the country is rapidly becoming less “white” and more “immigrant”.
      5) Has an actual platform built on controlling women’s reproductive choices, abortion choices, and access to contraception… when 50% of the country is made up of women.
      6) Supports defunding PP based on obvious lies… but continues to act as if they were not lies.
      7) Supports TRAP laws for closing down abortion clinics, because they have no balls for taking on abortion rights directly… and losing. So they lie, and cheat, and use legal devices that everyone understands are for one purpose, while claiming they are for another. This is the essence of unethical and immoral behaviour.
      8) Has a majority of old voters who are dying off.
      9) Are making zero inroads on millennials who are as a group, steadily growing as a voting block.
      10) Denies science. This is just too stupid for words.
      As a bonus they also deny Climate Change and deliberately block the CDC from researching gun violence.
      11) Advocates debunked “Trickle Down” economics and continual tax cuts for the wealthy.
      12) Advocates cutting the social safety net.
      13) Advocates war. War spending. War-like threats. And has already given us ISIS through their stupidity.
      14) Pushes Christianity above other religions or lack of religion and tries to create special laws to enshrine those benefits.
      … and the list goes on.

      No party in the modern world can last long basing it’s future on stupidity, denial, hatred, discrimination, and war.

      Trump has just taken the “Southern Strategy” cake with its Lie-to-the-Plebs filling and Plutocrat Icing and served it up to everyone for a good long look at who the GOP really are.

      The rest will be history.
      As will this current version of the GOP.

      • And thank you, for your encapsullation of all that is Conservative Republican today. When they lose again, there will be every pundit and editorial about the decline and misfortune, missteps of the GOP; lots of navel gazing, that will result in more “the dog ate my homework” and ” Obama, ie, the devil, made us do it.”

        What they need more than anything else is a Psychiatrist, a team of psychiatrists and psychoanalysts, and a team of priests and other religious to conduct exorcisms.

        We must all mobilize to get out the vote, to vote in those places where we still can!!, and to vote in each and every election, none of them “unimportant” any more.

        Thank you, again.

      • Again, the GOP uses lies and scare tactics to control their base, but their base is beginning to see the light, especially when they’ve had to deal with GOP candidates that have NO ideas of their own and are only parroting the ideas of their “handlers.” The GOP candidates have NO cares for the middle class or their constituents….they don’t care what we, the people who actually OWN the government, feel or care about. They only want to please the ones that line their pockets. I hope that more and more Republicans start to see the light and realize the lies that have been told to them, the brainwashing that has been done by the GOP to their followers!! It’s pretty sad that some people, however, still will believe every word that they’re told, even when the people telling it have done all they can to put them down and keep them down!!!

  8. The one that stand out is Obama compared to the competition. It is no contest and it seems it will continue to be that way well into the next Democrats presidency. Up to and until the republicans are willing accept the reality of 8 years of Obama’s presidency, and own up to their own foibles nothing will change anytime soon.

    • Bernie wants us to be socialist like Venezuela, that once touted liberal
      paradise now turned bankrupt nightmare. Under authoritarian
      collectivism the people and their wealth is exhausted under
      simultaneously increasing heavy handed draconianism.

      • Or Socialist, like Germany, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Canada, Australia, Norway, Austria, Denmark, Holland.. You know, all those places where people are happier and healthier than they are in the USA.

  9. Everyone is so gleeful that this moron is going to be gone. GDP is at nearly 0%, our debt is 19trillion, no jobs, outsourcing, high taxes, preferential treatment of illegals. Boy, we can hardly wait, that is the reason his popularity is at an all time high.

    • Sure, let’s forget about the president that had us losing 800,000 jobs a month, damn near driving our country in to a depression . spending trillions invading and occupying 2 third rate countries that posed no threat to our national security and at the same time, cutting taxes for the wealthiest (can you say fiscal insanity?) Americans .. and you want to knock President Obama?

      • And, we need to mention that a good part of the $19 trillion in debt was due to monies being added to the budget AFTER President Obama took office….money to pay for the war that GWB started, along with money to also pay for his big pharmacy plan, along with the lowering of taxes!

    • And the reason Junior left with 34% and his approval rating never went higher than 50% after May 2005 was that everybody wanted the idiot to stay? From just after 9/11 Junior’s approval went steadily down, down, down.

  10. sorry this is like calling a turd in a punch bowl a genesis, when in fact this is a ass hat in a room full of fucktards ..

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