The Obama Presidency a Failure According to a Majority of Americans

In a recent poll from the Washington Post and ABC News, a majority of Americans believe that the Obama administration has been a “failure.” Interestingly enough this includes a sizable number of Democrats who are fed up. Now what does this mean for the president? Well most certainly this view of the American people will be put forth in a tangible way this November where Republican congressional candidates are expected to pick up multiple seats. It can also hurt Obama’s ability to gain support among Democrats for issues such as immigration reform as some might be unwilling to stand with a toxic president. Whatever the case may be I’m forced to ask, how is hope and change working out?

Now before conservatives and Obama opponents start salivating, one thing must be said; the poll only offered two options to rate the president, success or failure. With no middle field, one can't claim a neutral stance and so the severity of the findings is a bit stretched. Regardless, the findings do show a majority of Americans don't approve of Obama and this is closely mirrored in his approval ratings which continue to fall. To that end these numbers aren't overly shocking.

According to the poll, 41 percent of registered voters believe "strongly" that Obama has been a failure. Overall, 55 percent of registered voters believe Obama to be a failure compared to just 39 percent who believe him to be a success. Even more interesting is that a quarter of Democrats believe Obama to be a failure. That number though hides a fact that Republicans won't speak of. Sure there are Democrats who have been greatly underwhelmed by Obama and they have every reason to be so. There are those who see that he has been a lackluster president and those who realize he hasn't carried through with everything he promised. Additionally though there are those Democrats who believed that they had voted for an ultra-progressive president and instead have elected a run-of-the-mill liberal; in other words Obama is too conservative for them.

This poll does little to show what we don't already know and that is Obama is viewed upon unfavorably by a majority of Americans. There is no doubt in my head that his handling of foreign policy and immigration issues over the past several months have damaged him. Foreign policy is very interesting but it rarely is a deciding factor in determining the way people vote. Now though the situation overseas with the world seemingly on the verge of blowing up is of a more important concern to Americans. Unfortunately for Obama and regardless of how you feel about him on this issue, he has been widely portrayed as weak and ineffectual in this field. Between Syria, IS in Iraq, Russia invading the Ukraine, and increasing Chinese aggressiveness, he has appeared completely out of touch and off base. Only now is he getting up to speed with IS but this should have been months ago. Meanwhile on immigration he seems to be more concerned with pushing his pro-amnesty ideas than actually dealing with the humanitarian crisis on our southern border which is only worsening.

The negative sentiment that Americans have for Obama will be seen in the November elections. There still is time for Obama to at least improve his numbers but for the most part Americans after November will start to look towards 2016 and for new blood. If the president only showed some genuine concern and had not made such lofty goals for himself, one might think the American people would be slightly more impressed with him. If I had to take this poll, I would say his administration has been a failure; the few successes in my view are completely drowned by failures.

Posted by SPBrooker at September 16, 2014 7:28 PM
Comment #383321

Harry Truman left office as a “failure.” His two term successor, Dwight Eisenhower, left office as a “failure” and as a president that was responsible for the decline of US power and leadership in the world.

Funny how time gives a different perspective.

Posted by: Rich at September 16, 2014 8:40 PM
Comment #383354

I also remember how Clinton left the Presidency. By the time his successor left, it was pretty much agreed that he was a great President.

We hear no alternatives, really, no new thinking, no really well thought out policy philosophy, just this antagonistic BS that celebrates declines in popularity that Republicans have been transparently trying to induce from day one.

So, SPBrooker, you tell us, what is a good policy, beyond the standard “turn the sand to glass” nuclear machismo?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 17, 2014 10:26 AM
Comment #383356

America failed when the Bush administration received a warning in August that Osama bin Laden was going to hijack planes. They did nothing. 9/11 followed shortly thereafter.

America failed when Bush administration tax cuts resulted in huge deficits and a spiraling debt.

America failed when it invaded Iraq under false pretenses, then messed up the occupation. It cost thousands of American lives, tens of thousands of wounded, and hundreds of billions of dollars, all in order to commit the biggest strategic blunder in American history.

America failed when a process of deregulation in the financial sector resulted in an economic crash.

But let’s be clear. When I say ‘America’ failed, I mean the people who voted for Bush and conservatives. These people failed America, and harmed the rest of us a great deal. These conservatives resent being held responsible for their actions and their votes. Their entire mentality revolves seeking validation for their bad choices and their bad political philosophy.

As a result, we see laughable criticisms of Obama-

‘OMG! Whatever will we do about the Ukraine! Curse you, Obama!’

And we see gross bigotry and xenophobia- especially over immigration-

‘Nooooo! Brown people speaking Spanish who want to be Americans! They’re everywhere! For the love of God, close the border! Aaaaaaaaaaaaagh’-

The fact is, America failed in its foreign policy and its economic management because Americans failed. Conservative Americans. Epic Fail.

And our comeback from their failure deserves thanks to liberals, thanks to Democrats, and thanks to the administration and its head, one of the great presidents in our history, Obama.

Posted by: phx8 at September 17, 2014 11:16 AM
Comment #383367

phx8, excellent analogy. Favorite tool of right wing is deflection from what they did by pointing at someone else and saying but they are doing worse (even if they have to just make stuff up) or the yell “Squirrel” (really it’s benghazi)

Kind of makes you wonder what they will do if we are fortunate enough to have Hillary Clinton as our President in 2016 building on President Obama’s successes and turning any failures into triumphs. Esploding heads for sure.

Posted by: Speak4all at September 17, 2014 12:58 PM
Comment #383368

So, we have ‘give it some time’ from Rich. It’s the Republicans fault from Stephen. And more “BBBBUUUUUSSSSHHHH” from Phx8.

But still no honest assessment of why Americans view The Obama Presidency a Failure.

Posted by: kctim at September 17, 2014 3:06 PM
Comment #383370

But still no honest assessment of why Americans view The Obama Presidency a Failure.
Posted by: kctim at September 17, 2014 3:06 PM

My logic tells me that those Americans who disagree with liberalism are growing in numbers as their promises and policies fail. That’s a good thing.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 17, 2014 3:35 PM
Comment #383373

Could it be because the Americans that support President Obama do not view his presidency as a failure maybe?

Posted by: Speak4all at September 17, 2014 3:40 PM
Comment #383375

There is no way an honest, factual assessment of Obama’s presidency to date can assess it as a failure.

Seriously. Just look at the article! Bush is a failure because a former Russian SSR and Russia are at odds? Are you kidding? And there is continual conflict in the Middle East? Come on. And then there is ‘increased Chinese aggressiveness’! My God! How stupid does someone have to be in order to buy that one! One of the largest Chinese companies out there, Alibaba, is about to launch the largest IPO in history, and they are doing it on the NYSE instead of in China.

The Obama administration is a failure because of a so-called ‘immigration crisis’? What the hell does that mean? How is that a crisis? People wanting to come to our country and work hard and chase the American dream constitutes a crisis?

The same people who voted for Bush are the ones who consider Obama a failure. There is a good reason the approval ratings for Obama have remained so constant, namely, that these conservatives who voted for Bush are the same people that brought this country to its knees, and they are very angry about being losers, and they hate Obama for succeeding, so they deny it.

Whether it is Global Warming Denial, the success of Obamacare, Obama’s resurrection of the economy, or Birtherism, these conservative keep telling each other the same misinformation. It’s an echo chamber, a bubble. Predictably, the results are ugly when the bubble comes into contact with reality. Each time the bubble meets reality, both it and conservative heads explode.

Posted by: phx8 at September 17, 2014 3:43 PM
Comment #383376

Correction: “Bush is a failure because a former Russian SSR and Russia are at odds?” should read “Obama…”

Posted by: phx8 at September 17, 2014 3:49 PM
Comment #383387


A honest, factual assessment of WHY so many Americans deem his presidency a failure IS possible though.

IF current times are so great, why do the majority disagree with you?

Posted by: kctim at September 17, 2014 6:00 PM
Comment #383395

That’s similar to the question of, “If movies are so bad, why do people go to see them?”

Perhaps it’s because if you push lies long enough and hard enough, people might believe them. Of course, the question that should worry you is 1) What happens when your hype ends, or worse, 2) what happens when people, in some way, become habituated to the hype.

I’ve seen it happen, and like parties, movie studios have a tendency to encourage it by spamming particular tropes.

I mean, you ever wonder why your people say socialists, rather than commies? Because the latter term dates them. And you know what? The former is going to be what marks the fossil Record for the current Right Wing, because like film marketers putting a “BWAWM” into every preview’s soundtrack, they really don’t have the original thought to be more subtle.

You talk of failure. By what measure? By the measure of Jobs? Obama long left Bush in the dust, maybe even leaves Reagan in the dust before its all over. His economy continues to grow, with only one recent hiccup breaking the trend. That should count for something.

If we’re not out of wars, we certainly don’t have as many American soldiers in harm’s way. We’ve seen the deaths of Qaddafi and Bin Laden, two longtime enemies of previous Republican Presidents. Yes, you have the Ukraine Crisis, but even gung-ho Bush couldn’t stop the Georgian crisis the year Obama was elected. Those countries sit next door to Russia, so the best we can do is give Russia a spanking, at the moment. And ISIS?

Republicans enter the revolving door and meet themselves coming out. They opposed action when the ISIS thugs weren’t yet doing their head-cutting, and now they’re asking why Obama didn’t swing in and save the day earlier.

If you’re willing to indulge in long-term, free-floating hostility and negativity towards a guy for several years, and s*** happens as it often does, well, you will get negative poll results.

The question you should ask is whether disapproval of the President’s performance actually converts to approval of Republican Policies. And before you start saying that the Senate election might prove that Republicans are the true holders of the mandate, keep in mind that you have an election in two years where you’re expected to likely lose the Senate, due to the same issue that puts ours at risk now: the different mix of states whose seats are up for election.

And really, no hype in the world guarantees good performance. I learned that the hard way. Well marketed stinkers still stink. Poorly marketed films that work wonderfully still end up fondly remembered.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 17, 2014 10:26 PM
Comment #383484


So, out of all of that, all you are basically saying it’s all because of Republican “hype.” That it’s all the Republicans fault.
That the record number of people receiving government assistance, or who have given up looking for work, are actually upset because Republicans are lying to them?
Come on man. Sheesh.

Look, I’m not the one who is saying this Presidency has been a failure, the majority of Americans in this poll are. If you guys can’t bring yourselves to acknowledge and respect the reality of their concerns, that fossil record you are hoping for, will take longer to materialize.

Posted by: kctim at September 18, 2014 9:28 AM
Comment #383503

George W. Bush is having a revival. A Gallup Poll has found more Americans giving the president a favorable rating than an unfavorable one, for the first time since 2005.

I doubt that history will be that unkind to Obama, as you can see even Bush’s approval ratings have risen since he has left office. Nixon and Johnson are the only two presidents who didn’t see this happen.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 18, 2014 2:24 PM
Comment #383525

The problem is a BS belief that the market will create a self-catalyzing recovery under all circumstances.

You folks obstruct everything, then ask, why is more not done? Obama’s barely had the chance to do anything from his end to stimulate the economy, and your side is back with your blanket condemnations of regulations.

You criticize the slow pace of recovery. Problem is, isn’t that exactly what you were looking for? Natural recovery? Everything just gradually fixing itself as things settle out?

Folks in the GOP and the conservative movement lack a consistent overall vision of cause and effect. That’s advantage if you need to say one thing one day, and another thing the other to suit some political agenda, but it’s absolutely disastrous as an approach to create consistent policy and results. You want Obama to hurry up and do something, right after you get done obstructing him to make sure he can’t do a single thing? What’s next, grab him by the wrist and make his hand bop his face, while you say, “stop hitting yourself?”

Polls are only useful to the degree that you get clear ideas of why the majority is shaped the way it is. You’re too quick to assume it vindicates you.

George W. Bush’s image is constantly getting polished by Right-Wingers and others interested in works of revisionist history. I think what we’re going to find is that your attempts to rehabilitate his image will be hampered by the ugly facts that remain.

You folks have been doing this revisionist history thing from the point you started losing these offices, so you could convince yourselves not to change anything.

But the more you resist doing that, the more likely you are to cycle right back to the same behavior that screwed you over in the first place.

Taxes are a good example. Republicans keep on trying to make the Laffer Curve work. It doesn’t. The economy just isn’t getting that suppressed by the income tax. But Republicans have adopted it as an inviolable truth, and thus will act on it again and again, and then rationalize the failure again and again.

Your problem with people of my generation is that we’ve been through maybe three or four of these cycles already within our lifetime, and haven’t seen it succeed.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 18, 2014 11:49 PM
Comment #383526

You heavey southpaws should refer to the above posts.

#383514, 383473, and 383425

They contain more facts than the whole of phx8, SD, speaks.

Posted by: tom humes at September 19, 2014 12:26 AM
Comment #383535


The problem is that you can’t accept that the idea that people see President Obama to have failed on anything. If people disagree with his policy, they are racists. If they question his position, it’s the Republicans fault. If they don’t share his opinion, it’s the ‘evil right wing media’s” fault. When he says something stupid, it’s not what he “really” meant.

I really hope a Republican somehow becomes President in 2016. Watching you condemn what you now defend, will be even funnier than watching you now defend what you once condemned.

Posted by: kctim at September 19, 2014 10:53 AM
Comment #383634
George W. Bush’s image is constantly getting polished by Right-Wingers and others interested in works of revisionist history. I think what we’re going to find is that your attempts to rehabilitate his image will be hampered by the ugly facts that remain.

My attempts? That’s a strange comment considering I have never done anything of the sort… And you know that.

I never voted for him and opposed many of his policies, but supported some of them. Pretty much the same as Barack Obama because, well, there’s really not much different, policy wise, from the two.

You folks have been doing this revisionist history thing from the point you started losing these offices, so you could convince yourselves not to change anything.

Ah, the ‘you folks’ thing again… I’m wondering if this isn’t some sort of tick that you have? Unfortunately it’s a horrible fallacy that just keeps getting in your way if you are wanting to be taken at all seriously…

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 22, 2014 11:37 AM
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