A TALE OF TWO COUNTRIES – AT 8:22 A.M. ET: The Politico has an incisive, if a bit tardy piece this morning, reporting what many have already seen: There is the nation of Washington, D.C., which may include territories like Manhattan, New York; Hollywood, California, and Cambridge, Massachusetts. Then there's the nation called America.
And they disagree on Obama.
The cover of The Atlantic this month shows a shirt-sleeved President Barack Obama and the headline, “WHY HE’S RIGHT.” It reflects the Washington conventional wisdom that Obama is on a roll, bolstered by his long-delayed victory on health reform.
Someone should tell the rest of the country.
While Washington talks about Obama’s new mojo, polls show voters outside the Beltway are sulking — soured on the president, his party and his program. The Gallup Poll has Obama’s approval rating at an ominous 49 percent, after hitting a record low of 47 percent last weekend. A new poll in Pennsylvania, a bellwether industrial state, shows his numbers sinking, as did recent polls in Ohio and Florida.
So there are two Obamas: Rising in D.C., struggling in the U.S.
It’s yet another deficit for Obama to tackle: The Republican Party has closed its popularity gap with the Democrats, and people say they’d be at least as happy with the GOP in charge of Capitol Hill. Wall Street sees a recovery, but everyday Americans think their country is still on the wrong track. And health reform is even less popular now in some polls than it was before it passed.
“Everyone in the pressure cooker in Washington got all excited like the millennium had arrived [when health care reform passed], but I don’t think most reasonable people read it that way,” Democratic Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen said. Bredesen said people are worried about the cost and “appalled at the process in the Congress that produced it.”
COMMENT: Why the gap? Because the one profession that can link Washington with the reality of America is either asleep at the switch, or pulling the switch for Obama. There is very little serious reporting about what Americans think because so many "journalists" have contempt for the American people. What do those peasants know? Have they ever tasted the desserts at Princeton?
We recall the famous comment by the film critic, Pauline Kael, who, after the 1972 election, expressed amazement that Nixon had won because she didn't know anyone who'd voted for him.
Washington is not America. Today, it doesn't even like America.
April 16, 2010