Rich Galen

But as he continues to try and execute on a strategy that will overcome historical political gravity by switching control of the U.S. House from Republican to Democrat in 2014, this is the kind of number that has caused him to change course: Among Independents his approval rating is 35-52.

In that same poll Quinnipiac asked if people liked the way Democrats and Republicans were handling their jobs in Congress.

Not much back-patting on either side. The poll found Republicans were deep in negative territory at 20-71. But Democrats were not that far above their GOP colleagues at 32-60.

For Obama, when your allies on The Hill are minus 28 in approval, you don't want to spend a lot of political capital extolling their virtues.

To make my point, Obama went to dinner at a downtown hotel with GOP Senators on Wednesday night and then had lunch at the White House with Rep. Paul Ryan (R-MN) who is chairman of the House Budget Committee and Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) the ranking Democrat on Thursday.

Not only is Obama losing the undying adoration of the American people, he is also in trouble with the normally Liberal chattering class here in Our Nation's Capital.

The National Journal's Matt Cooper wrote a great piece in which he pointed out the hypocrisy of conservatives who defended the Cheney Doctrine during the W. years, but now are howling at Obama's use of the same tools.

But, Cooper also wrote:

Greater hypocrisy lies with Democrats, who have expressed only modest interest in [Rand] Paul's cause …The biggest blame, though, ought to go to President Obama, who campaigned on reversing Cheneyism and has prosecuted the wars of 9/11 while keeping Gitmo open and making the drone the symbol of his military policy.

After I read that, I Tweeted:

To misquote LBJ: If BHO has lost Matt Cooper he's lost the war.

There is a persistent legend that, after Walter Cronkite expressed the opinion that the Viet Nam war was unwinnable, President Lyndon Baines Johnson once said "If we've lost Walter, we've lost the war."

Whether Johnson actually said that or not, Obama understands its meaning.

On the Secret Decoder Ring page today: Links to the Quinnipiac poll, to the House Budget lunch, and to Matt Cooper's piece.

Also a pretty scary Mullfoto of the Potomac River during the storm on Wednesday.

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at