Daniel Doherty
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Unkept promises and managerial incompetence seem to have taken their toll on this White House. For the first time ever, a CNN poll finds that more than half of Americans don’t believe President Obama is “honest and trustworthy,” while only four in ten Americans say he is an effective manager-in-chief of the federal government:

Only four out of 10 Americans believe President Barack Obama can manage the federal government effectively, according to a new national poll.

And a CNN/ORC International survey released Monday morning also indicates that 53% of Americans now believe that Obama is not honest and trustworthy, the first time that a clear majority in CNN polling has felt that way.

According to the survey, conducted last Monday through Wednesday, 40% say the President can manage the government effectively. That 40% figure is down 12 percentage points from June and is the worst score Obama received among the nine personal characteristics tested in the new poll.

"A lot of attention has focused on the President's numbers on honesty in new polling the past three weeks, but it looks like the recent controversy over Obamacare has had a bigger impact on his status as an effective manager of the government, and that may be what is really driving the drop in Obama's approval rating this fall," CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said.

Either way Obamacare is the chief culprit for the president’s sinking personal approval ratings. Americans probably don’t like being lied to, of course, but -- as the pollsters imply -- if the White House was a bit more, shall we say, competent, perhaps his approval numbers wouldn’t be as low as they currently are:

Does being an effective manager count more than honesty?

"Just ask Bill Clinton, whose overall approval ratings remained high during and after the Monica Lewinsky scandal because three-quarters of all Americans thought he could get things done, even though only about one in five said he was honest," Holland added.

Bill Clinton might have been a liar, in other words, but the man could govern. Hence why his approval ratings never fully imploded, despite revelations he carried on an extra-marital affair during his presidency.

A few more relevant data points: 56 percent of respondents say the president is not admirable, does not reflect their opinions on "important issues," and perhaps most troublesome of all, does not “inspire confidence.” Ouch. But the numbers aren’t all bad. Six in ten and seven in ten respondents, respectively, say he has “vision” and is “likeable.” But trustworthiness, not likeability, is what inspires confidence -- a trait the president seems to utterly lack nowadays.

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Daniel Doherty

Daniel Doherty is Townhall's Deputy News Editor. Follow him on Twitter @danpdoherty.

Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography