Approval Rates And Unemployment Rates
A poll came out today saying President Obama’s approval rate has fallen below 60% for the first time since he was elected. It was also announced that unemployment went up again, especially in Michigan, which has an unemployment rate over 15%, the highest in 25 years.
In a way, we owe James Carville for what actually captures the mood of the country most of the time with his great phrase in 1992: “It’s the economy, Stupid.” Indeed, it would seem that the biggest issue that any president has to deal with across the board has always been the economy. If it’s bad, a president gets bad marks, and if it’s good, a president gets good marks. That’s why President Clinton had such high marks when he left office with an approval rate of over 60%. Even with his personal peccadilloes, when all was said and done people were living better on his way out than they were when he first got into office.
Of course, anyone with a little bit of common sense knows that the President of the United States usually has little to do with how much of the economy goes. As much as I loved blaming a lot of things on President Bush, he wasn’t the guy who created all those bad housing loans that brought down the housing market, and he’s not the guy who allowed banks to do some of the sneaky things they did. True, I will blame Ronald Reagan for a lot of the deregulation he allowed to be pushed through, which then gave many of these guys the idea that they could do whatever they wanted to, but he didn’t think of the idea himself, then pass it on to them.
Still, I don’t blame people for wanting to take their frustrations out on the President; as President Truman said, “The Buck Stops Here,” and they are the ones in charge. And President Obama will have to take his bit of heat if his stimulus package doesn’t work because he is the one who pushed it through, and it’s hard to believe they didn’t know the economy was worse than it’s turned out to be because many of us who blog about finances knew how bad it was, and some of us had other ideas on healthcare, and some of us have had ideas on how to change parts of the economy, although right now I can’t remember where I put it; I’m going to have to see if I can find it somewhere.
As for the approval rate? I expect it will get close to 54%, then will probably stop there. After all, that’s where it was when he won the presidential nomination, and his core supporters will give him the doubt, and those who were against him before will feel vindicated in saying that they were right in saying he wasn’t ready for the job. Yeah, I’d have handled it differently, like most people would say, but I’m not sure that, based on everything else that’s happened, that I could have changed things all that much either.
Saving the economy is more than a one man job.