Joan Walsh of Salon
and MSDNC's Keith Olbermann
disapprove, well, you've got a problem.Rasmussen Reports
points out that the president's approval rating has held steady in the high 40's for six months now, and observes that only time will tell whether the new low he's now reached is temporary or the "start of a lasting change."
But the problem for Obama isn't just that he hasn't been able to get the oil spill under control -- that is, it isn't just a matter of people simply disapproving of the way he's handling this particular matter. The problem is that they're also beginning to harden their judgments of him, his leadership style, and other personal qualities (a tendency to big talk, without big action) in a way that could well carry over to their permanent assessments of him, even after this crisis is past. And they're also beginning to realize that they were snookered during the campaign by the glowing press coverage and Obama's outsized evaluation of his own excellence.
What should be concerning The White House is the fact that the President's speech -- obviously intended to alleviate his hemorraging approval ratings -- fell short even by the lights of his strongest supporters. When people like