As a practical matter, no president can be aware of everything going on in the sprawling government he theoretically manages. But as a matter of politics, Mr. Obama’s plea of ignorance may do less to deflect blame than to prompt new questions about just how much in charge he really is. – Peter Baker [New York Times]
IT IS incomprehensible that President Obama’s second term isn’t even one year old. It may be a coincidence it’s Halloween, but his latest approval/disapproval numbers are frightening. He earned them. The dramatic Democratic performance during the shutdown is already forgotten, which gives you an idea of how quickly things can change.
Right now, however, President Obama is running the federal government like a Republican, incompetently.
Looking from the perch of the Reagan administration and Iran-Contra, this quote from Baker’s article isn’t surprising.
[…] John Tuck, who was a White House aide under Reagan, said he was not as bothered as other Republicans about Mr. Obama’s not knowing about the problems with the health care system in advance. “I would never put the finger on somebody saying he should have known or might have known,” Mr. Tuck said. “What difference does it make if he knew or he didn’t know?”
A new NBC/WSJ polling shows Obama’s approval rating at a new low, his disapproval numbers tying an all-time high.
Just 42 percent approve of the president’s job performance, which is down five points from earlier this month. By comparison, 51 percent disapprove of his job in office — tied for his all-time high.
[…] And for the first time in the survey, even Obama’s personal ratings are upside-down, with 41 percent viewing him a favorable light and 45 percent viewing him negatively.
“Personally and politically, the public’s assessment is two thumbs down,” says Democratic pollster Peter D. Hart, who conducted this survey with Republican pollster Bill McInturff.
The only good news is that as bad as President Obama is perceived, the Republicans are even lower.
The public’s view of the Republican Party has reached another all-time low in the survey, with 22 percent seeing the GOP in a positive light and 53 percent viewing it negatively…
The sign-up problems of Obamacare aren’t hurting the law itself, they’re all landing on President Obama. That’s how this works. Nobody is going to remember Secretary Sebelius, no matter that she took responsibility for the roll out fiasco. It happened on Barack Obama’s watch, with his “promise” to people that they could keep their insurance coming back to haunt him, with the White House response making him look un-presidential.
The Republicans always come to the rescue, because they’re so cringeworthy to watch. Their inhumanity towards the real cost of the uninsured never considered, but only the politics calculated.
Oh, and just in case you were wondering how this all might play out in 2014, read Howard Fineman’s latest report. It’s another scary story for Halloween.
According to an Affordable Care Act timetable established by administration officials, early next October insurance companies will announce their new menu of health care plans for the ACA marketplaces — plans that may be more varied and numerous than those offered this year, but that almost certainly will come with higher prices.
The likely price hikes will hit the individual and small-business insurance markets only weeks before Election Day on Nov. 4, 2014.
“What genius came up with that timetable?” asked one key Democrat, who declined to be quoted by name because he is involved in private White House talks. …