Donald Lambro

Hardly a strong vote of confidence from his own party.

All of this exposes a president who does not have the ability to lead his own country out of a recession, nor does he possess the leadership qualities needed on the larger world stage in an increasingly dangerous world.

This week, he was reduced to sophomoric, flim-flam arguments, denying that he set the "red line" he publicly declared a year ago in his warning to Assad against using chemical weapons in his attempt to defeat Syrian rebels seeking to topple his brutal regime.

With a straight face Wednesday, Obama told reporters, "I didn't set a red line." He went on to say that line was set when the international community ratified a global treaty that forbid the use of chemical weapons.

That kind of linguistic gymnastics may work for awhile in a political campaign here at home, but on the grown-up, global stage, it smacks of trickery and deceit.

When a president goes abroad to deal with the world's leaders, the level of respect he earns and receives is by definition drawn from his achievements at home. On this level, Obama carries an empty suit case.

For nearly half a decade, Obama has presided over a lethargic economy that he is incapable of nursing back to full health and vigor. Recent surveys and economic reports testify to his failure. Among them:

-- Economic confidence is falling: "Americans remained more negative than positive last month about economic conditions in the U.S," the Gallup Poll reported Tuesday.

-- U.S. workers "still haven't shaken" their job fears of 2009:

"Nearly five years since the start of the financial crisis, "employed Americans continue to express elevated concerns about their job security," Gallup said Monday.

August polls found that U.S. workers "exhibit the most widespread concern about having their benefits reduced, and that remains the case today, with 43 percent saying so," Gallup reported.

-- "The U.S. economy looks headed for a rough autumn, with slowdown threats looming from the housing market, the Middle East and Washington," the Washington Post reported Wednesday.

-- Recent job gains "have been heavily weighted toward part-time positions," says University of Maryland business economist Peter Morici.

"Since January, 936,000 additional Americans report working part- time, while only 27,000 more say they have obtained full time positions," he says. The shift to lower-paying, part-time work is "a reaction to Obamacare health insurance mandates [that] puts downward pressure on wages and benefits in low paying industries...and widens income inequality."

These and other trends in America's economic decline won't change until Obama's policies are changed. But he's out of the country at the moment, pretending to be a world leader without a following.

Donald Lambro

Donald Lambro is chief political correspondent for The Washington Times.