Obama's SOTU Notable -- For Being Ignored

Carol Platt Liebau

1/30/2014 9:49:00 AM - Carol Platt Liebau

Have Americans given up on President Obama?

A look at the ratings for Tuesday night's State of the Union is revealing. With a combined household rating of 20.7, according to Nielsen, Obama's 2014 SOTU got the lowest ratings in at least twenty years.

Indeed, even measuring simply the number of viewers, Obama's speech -- which attracted 33,299,172 -- had the lowest combined number of viewers since President Clinton's last address in 2000 (which had 31,478,000). Keep in mind that 2000 was the last year of an eight-year presidency, and less than a year after the President was impeached and then acquitted for having lied under oath about his affair in the Oval Office with a young intern.

At this point in a presidency, possessing the bully pulpit is one of a chief executive's last remaining vehicles for enacting his agenda and influencing public opinion. Judging from the ratings, it's apparent that the American public is tuning Obama out . . . and for good reason. How many times can Americans listen to him pledge that he's going to close Guantanamo -- and after the whole "if you like your health insurance, you can keep your health insurance" debacle, why would anyone believe what he says, anyway?