Is Obama's Image Starting To Crack Under The Strain?

Is it possible Obama's carefully crafted image is starting to come apart? Could it be his personal charisma is no longer enough to carry the day when it comes to his ambitious plans to do LBJ one better and surpass the breadth of his Great Society experiment? Could it be his first legislative victory (the $787 billion stimulus bill) after taking the oath of office back in January could end up showing the nation how ineffective he really is?

It would appear so.

But rather than being remembered as some one as great or better than LBJ, FDR, or Ronald Reagan, could it be he'll be remembered as this generation's Jimmy Carter?

The president seemed like a man long celebrated as being very good at politics—the swift rise, the astute reading of a varied electorate—who is finding out day by day that he isn't actually all that good at it. In this sense he does seem reminiscent of Jimmy Carter, who was brilliant at becoming president but not being president.

One thing Obama is very good at is getting elected. But his record shows that once in office his performance was more often than not less than adequate. Voting “present” on a large number of bills and initiatives at both the state and federal level does not point to someone good at actually performing the duties of their office. It appears he liked the prestige his office afforded him but rarely lived up to the demands his office placed upon him. I find that now that he's achieved the highest office in the nation he's following the same pattern, though he has a lot more staff to carry the load that is rightfully his.

He creates ambitious goals to be met, but never actually tells us how he plans to meet them. Instead he hands those tasks to the Democratic leadership in Congress. We've seen how well that's been working for him.

His popularity is dropping, and not just among the independents and Republicans.

As I wrote back in January, “There are too many parallels to Jimmy Carter's policies in regards to those being put forth by President Obama. While the economic problems we're facing today are nothing as compared to the ones Carter was facing when he took office in 1977, the are just as daunting. Unfortunately if Obama follows the same course as Carter, the economy will not recover any time soon and he could end up being a one-term president like Carter.”

It didn't seem like this was a real possibility back than, but as things have been unfolding over the past 8 months it appears I may have been far more accurate in my prognostication than I thought. The real indication will be the mid-term elections in 2010. If the Democratic majority is seriously weakened or swept aside in one or both chambers of Congress, then Obama's chances for re-election in 2012 may go with them.

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