Conservative Contingent: Economy Stifles Hope for Obama 2012

Andrew Lipian

The wave of hope that Barack Obama surfed upon to sweep the country in an ideological stupor in 2008 has now vanished, and its once mighty tides of “change we can believe in” are rendered to stagnant sea foam as his leadership is resulting in a limpid economy, dysfunctional government and a disproportionately impatient populace. The polls say it all: Rasmussen just polled his approval at 40 percent and a recent Gallup poll showed his approval ratings at 40 percent as well — a sliver higher than his all-time low of 38 percent.

Members of his own party are even alienating themselves from him. Take Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill, who declined to appear with the President after his most recent visit to her state. These interparty antipodes are especially evident as Obama’s “Jobs Bill” faces more severe opposition in a Democrat-controlled Senate than John Kerry in a Swift Boat commercial. No president has had an approval rating this low in his third year as president since Jimmy Carter back in 1979, a year before his eloquent and affable opponent — we know him as Reagan — vanquished him in the 1980 election, resulting in a 12-year Republican presidential dynasty. Barack Obama is dangerously close to suffering a similar fate, as the country he swore to unite under the banner of “change” is arguably more polar and divided than ever. But why is this so?

A struggling economy doesn’t help him, and the stimulus hasn’t produced the results dearly hoped for. Indeed, spending projects such as $712,883 to fund a Northwestern University “Joke Machine,” $750,000 for UNC “interactive dance” research and $300,000 to track radioactive rabbit feces in Washington State aren’t quite curbing the now 9.1 percent unemployment rate as was perhaps expected. The buck has to stop somewhere, and the polls all indicate it halts at the seat of the Oval Office as usual. Sympathy for inheriting a drab economy is trumped when the promise of the stimulus has not delivered on jobs and his leadership continues floundering.

Bringing people together under mutual purpose shows great leadership, but how many narrowly avoided government shutdowns transpire before it becomes obvious that division is at an all time high? Based on the polls, the verdict is out. The economy needs to improve to alter his chances, but the clock is ticking as the GDP and falling approval numbers disrupt the resuscitation of hope for the President’s re-election ambitions. November 2012 is only a year away.