Thursday, March 03, 2011

It's the Policies, Stupid (Or How I learned to stop worrying and love my Inner Racist)

According to a Quinnipiac poll released this morning, 52% of voters disapprove of the President's policies. From the Topline summary:

Three out of four American voters - 74 percent - like President Barack Obama, but a narrow majority disapproves of his policies, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. President Obama gets a split 46 - 46 percent job approval rating, little changed from his 48 - 44 percent score January 13, and voters split 45 - 47 percent on whether they think he deserves a second term in the Oval Office.

Broken down by category, it's easy to see that, much like President Bush, the public likes the man but isn't so appreciative of what he's doing:

Voters disapprove 58 - 36 percent of the way Obama is handling the federal budget deficit, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University survey finds. They say 51 - 10 percent that he will cut spending too little rather than too much, with 32 percent saying he'll cut the right amount, and 44 - 14 percent that he will raise taxes too much rather than too little, with 36 percent saying he'll get it right. By comparison, voters split 33 - 32 percent on whether congressional Republicans will cut spending too little or too much, with 29 percent saying they'll get it right, and by 33 - 25 percent they say GOP lawmakers will raise taxes too much rather than too little, as 36 percent say they'll get it right.

"President Barack Obama is a charmer. The American people like him a great deal, but they aren't nearly as sold on his policies. This combination of personal appeal and skepticism about his policies explains why his overall approval numbers seem to be stuck in the middle," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

Having spent 3 1/2 years in market research certainly doesn't make me an expert but at the same time I look at this and it all makes reasonable sense unless there's something truly screwy in the sampling or a biased questionnaire. Seems pretty straight-forward, no?

Well, maybe not. Over at Pajamasmedia, Roger Simon notes that the President still seems hung-up on the issue of his black-ness:

In an an excerpt (linked in red on Drudge) from his new book, Family and Freedom: Presidents and African Americans in the White House, US News journalist Kenneth T. Walsh writes:

But Obama, in his most candid moments, acknowledged that race was still a problem. In May 2010, he told guests at a private White House dinner that race was probably a key component in the rising opposition to his presidency from conservatives, especially right-wing activists in the anti-incumbent “Tea Party” movement that was then surging across the country. Many middle-class and working-class whites felt aggrieved and resentful that the federal government was helping other groups, including bankers, automakers, irresponsible people who had defaulted on their mortgages, and the poor, but wasn’t helping them nearly enough, he said.

A guest suggested that when Tea Party activists said they wanted to “take back” their country, their real motivation was to stir up anger and anxiety at having a black president, and Obama didn’t dispute the idea. He agreed that there was a “subterranean agenda” in the anti-Obama movement—a racially biased one—that was unfortunate. But he sadly conceded that there was little he could do about it.

That was then and this is now and the assessment doesn't seem to have changed much. The left in general, including the President, still views things--far too many and far too much--through the prism of race.

Simon notes the seeming duality inherent in the President's thinking...he wants to be "post-racial" but is trapped, stuck in--or happy to stay in--his racial stereotypes and seemingly will remain there until he leaves the White House for the last time in early 2013 or '17. Sometimes there is no changing minds and people will believe what they believe.

Given a choice between the President's stereotypes and hard data showing a full 3 out of 4 like the man but hate the policies, it ought to be clear though.

It's the Policies, stupid!

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