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January 25, 2010

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Abhinav

Politically better, ofcourse!

After 9/11 Bush and Republicans in general were doing extremely well, Bush got a ~40% popularity boost, but ofcourse the country wasnt doing that well...

Marbury

Believe me, if the country were in a depression - as opposed to a recession - then Obama's ratings would most definitely not be higher. They'd be (even) lower. 9/11 was an extraordinary circumstance.

Abhinav

Its all hypothetical right?

Lets say the country is in a depression, and Obama is "poll-driven" and based on strange poll by Anti-Rasmussen, US in a joint operation with Israel pre-emptively bombs Iran taking out all nuclear installations, though Iran manages to fire one at Israel, prompting Obama to say had he not taken the step, it would have been ten times worse for Israel as well as posiblity of strikes on US mainland. Thats it, massive popularity for Obama right there...

Lets say the country is in a depression, and based on another poll, Obama nationalizes the largest banks and soaks up all the populist anger at bailouts into support for himself without considering whether in the long term US govt can run those banks.

9/11 truthers not withstanding, extraordinary circumstances can still be created.

Ryan

(long time reader, first time caller)

I think the point of this quote was demonstrated this past week, when after Sen-elect Brown shocked the Dem establishment, Obama took a sharp and sudden turn in his rhetoric and policies (see: Volcker Rule). The economic policies that have been championed by Tea Bag populists (I associate those two camps with deep reservation) resulted in a rapid-sell of banking shares, thus impacting the dialogue that the investment horizon as a whole is improving.

Obama can do many things that are politically expedient and that I would imagine have tested well in the polls but would do more economic harm than good.

Lyle

I agree with Ryan. If Obama simply said what the growing ranks of FoxNews watching, non-newspaper-reading, increasingly-xenophobic, narrow-world-view Americans, as well as what the increasingly beleaguered, NPR-listening, newspaper-subscribing progressive Americans want to hear, not what they need to hear, then he could have higher ratings -- that is, if his administration practiced the duplicity of Bush II's White House. He could say what they want to hear, give them bread and circuses, and and let the other branches of government fall on their own swords.

But he's not doing that, so he's getting burned by the polls. It's damned if ya do; damned if ya don't. An unenviable position.

Marbury

Yes I get that Lyle (I don't agree with it - leaders who over-follow polls don't necessarily do well; quite the opposite) but my point is, the overwhelming determinant of a president's popularity is the state of the economy. So Obama wouldn't be "doing better" if the economy was doing worse.

Anyway we're probably making too much of it now...it just a silly thing someone apparently said and has no real significance!

Kyle

The "we" there obviously refers to the Administration, not the United States.

Kyle

Strike that comment: I misunderstood what the point of confusion was.

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