According to the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll, less than half of Americans (49%) believe that Mr. Obama will make the right decisions for the country.
That's a huge drop from 60% in April. The tumble is apparently tied to rising dissatisfaction with President Obama's healthcare reform proposals. Half of Americans now disapprove of the President's handling of the healthcare issue, with 42% saying they "strongly disapprove."
Those figures seem frightening, but the stats don't tell the whole story and Mr. Obama can reverse the slide in public confidence by taking his message directly to the American people.
In recent weeks, news coverage of the healthcare debate has been dominated by deceptive conservative politicos (Sarah Palin, Chuck Grassley, Orrin Hatch, etc.), manipulative and dishonest right wing media talkers (Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck et al) and those loudmouthed liars, fanatics, fearmongers and fools who've been raising Cain at town hall meetings in an effort to shut down honest, open debate. Through their combined and well-orchestrated efforts, these truth-trampling rabble-rousers have so commanded the public square that the President's speeches, interviews and town hall appearances (in which he has repeatedly explained the facts and exploded the falsehoods about healthcare) have received scant attention. So, it isn't surprising that a lot of Americans have flip-flopped on the health issue.
The President could regain the spotlight and reclaim public support by "going FDR on 'em." He should hold a primetime fireside chat-style telecast from the White House in which he dismantles the misinformation and explains the benefits of healthcare in his reassuring, inspiring and sincere style that connects so well with so many Americans.
Mr. Obama should also continue to toughen his rhetoric. He signaled his willingness to pass healthcare reform without Republican support and he's openly accused the Republican leadership of trying to kill the overhaul for political gain.
Strong talk like this will boost Obama's numbers because a portion of the people who are dissatisfied with his handling of healthcare actually support his plan - they just think he's been weak in promoting it. They're like "Jim from Philadelphia" who called in during Mr. Obama's appearance on conservative Michael Smerconish's radio show and told the President: "It's very frustrating to watch you try and compromise with a lot of the people who aren't willing to compromise with you."
One final note... The Washington Post-ABC News poll revealed that a mere 21% of Americans trust the Republicans in the House and Senate to make the right decisions for our nation's future. 35% trust the Democrats. On top of that, President Obama's overall approval rating remains strong at 57%. Those trump cards could help turn what seems to be Barack Obama's darkest day into his finest hour.
Thanks for listening. I'm Cameron Turner and that's my two cents.
Think! It ain't illegal...yet!