You won’t read about it in the Times or the Post, but the Wall Street Journal’s Douglas E. Schoen and Scott Rasmussen are reporting that Obama’s approval numbers, though still in the black at present, 50 days into the Honeymoon period, are decidedly lower than those of other presidents over the last century at the same point in their administrations, and Obama’s numbers are sinking.
Meanwhile, polls, including the liberal Gallup, also demonstrate a growing lack of confidence in Obama’s economic policies and growing opposition to federal bailouts.
[A] solid majority opposes the bank bailout, and 20% think it was a good idea. A majority believes that Mr. Obama will not be able to cut the deficit in half by the end of his term.
Only less than a quarter of Americans believe that the federal government truly reflects the will of the people. Almost half disagree with the idea that no one can earn a living or live “an American life” without protection and empowerment by the government, while only one-third agree.
Despite the economic stimulus that Congress just passed and the budget and financial and mortgage bailouts that Congress is now debating, just 19% of voters believe that Congress has passed any significant legislation to improve their lives.
Alexander Bolton, at The Hill, agrees:
President Obamaâ€™s honeymoon is beginning to fade.
Members of Congress and old political hands say he needs to show substantial progress reviving the economy soon. …
While lawmakers debate controversial proposals contained in the new presidentâ€™s debut budget â€” cutting farm subsidies, raising taxes on charitable contributions, etc. â€” there is a growing sense that time is running out faster than expected.
Democrats from states racked by recession say Obama needs to produce an uptick by August or face unpleasant consequences. Others say that there is more time, but that voters need to see improvement by the middle of next year.
The most optimistic say Obama and Democrats in Congress will face a political backlash unless the economy improves by Election Day 2010.
â€œWeâ€™ve got to see an uptick by August or the Democratic majority is in jeopardy,â€ said Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), whose state had an 11.6 percent unemployment rate in January. …
But Obama must move quickly, he added, saying, â€œBy summer there is no more honeymoon. Period.â€
Other Democrats and some Republicans question whether Obamaâ€™s attention is too thinly spread â€” whether his economic message may be diminished by forays into healthcare, education and energy reform.
â€œI think any political honeymoon has a short life, and in this economic climate itâ€™s dictated by the publicâ€™s perception of hope for the economy,â€ said former Democratic Sen. Richard Bryan, who represented Nevada for 12 years.