SCANDAL MANIA has torpedoed President Obama’s approval rating, which is at its lowest in the last year and one-half. It has been a rough start to President Obama’s second term, with CNN reporting the numbers today, which begin with the President’s trustworthiness taking a big hit.
Obama’s down to 45% approval, with over 6 in 10 Americans believing the U.S. government’s size threatens our rights and freedoms.
The CNN/ORC International survey released Monday morning comes as the White House has been reacting to controversies over a massive U.S. government surveillance program; the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of tea party and other conservative groups who applied for tax-exempt status; the administration’s handling of last September’s attack in Benghazi that left the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans dead; and the Justice Department’s secret collection of journalists’ phone records as part of a government investigation into classified leaks.
The poll indicates that for the first time in Obama’s presidency, half of the public says they don’t believe he is honest and trustworthy. And Americans are split on the controversial National Security Agency anti-terrorism program to record metadata on U.S. phone calls, but they support the NSA program that targets records of Internet usage by people in other countries. That doesn’t mean they necessarily like what is going on: Just over six in 10 believe that government is so large and powerful that it threatens the rights and freedoms of ordinary Americans.
When there are cumulative news events that raise question about trust, it hardly matters that the Benghazi terrorist attack onslaught has been proven incorrect on the facts, or that the White House had nothing to do with the IRS snooping on conservatives groups.
The other side of the story, starting with journalists being investigated, but then the NSA story, which revealed secret government spying that included targeting average Americans, as well as demanding cooperation from the biggest tech companies in the world, reveals big brother is everywhere.
It’s just one reason there was news out of the White House that President Obama intends to address the NSA spying scandal after he returns from the G8 summit in Northern Ireland, where the conversation with Russia’s President Putin won’t be around the Super Bowl ring he is being accused of stealing, but will focus on arms being sent to Syria. Of course, the other side is that Obama will have to face the reaction of the news going public that Medvedev was allegedly spied on by the NSA at the G8 in London.
American spies based in the UK intercepted the top-secret communications of the then Russian president, Dmitry Medvedev, during his visit to Britain for the G20 summit in London, leaked documents reveal.
The details of the intercept were set out in a briefing prepared by the National Security Agency (NSA), America’s biggest surveillance and eavesdropping organisation, and shared with high-ranking officials from Britain, Australia, Canada and New Zealand.
Obama’s brand has been damaged by a contagion of news stories, not all fair but still having a cumulative effect, depicting a president who seems unrecognizable to many Americans compared to the person who came into office in 2008.