In the early days of Barack Obama's presidency, his approval rating soared to dizzying heights as many Americans thought we had entered a new era of hope, change, unity, bipartisanship and uplifting speeches. Then, Obama moved on to actual governance and suddenly, for the first time in his political career, he had to primarily rely on his unproven leadership skills instead of his soaring oratory. That hasn't worked out so well for him because he has engaged in seven deadly political sins:
Partisanship: After 16 years of ugly political battles during the Clinton and Bush presidencies, Americans were ready for a President who'd actually be able to get Republicans and Democrats to work together. Like McCain, who, love him or hate him, is a true bipartisan reformer, Obama constantly talked about unity during the campaign. However, once Obama was elected, the idea of cooperating with the other side went right out the window. Republicans were locked out of having any significant input on legislation as Obama decided to rely completely on his own party to get his agenda passed.
Typical of that attitude is this statement from Obama:
But I don't want the folks who created the mess to do a lot of talking. I want them to get out of the way so we can clean up the mess. I don't mind cleaning up after them, but don't do a lot of talking." -- Barack Obama
There's nothing new about hamfisted partisanship in American politics, but if you practice it after running a campaign where you repeat the word "unity" so often that you sound like a parrot with a one word vocabulary, don't expect people to be happy with you.
Racialism: Many Americans believed Barack Obama's election would lead the country into a post-racial world. After all, Obama's rhetoric during the campaign was very different from previous "black leaders" like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. Besides, if a black man could become President, how racist could the country really be?