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July 18, 2011


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But why would that work for Obama specifically and not every first-term incumbent anywhere?


Depends on timing of term vs economic cycle/events.


So Obama has had the good fortune to get elected at a juncture wherein the normal economic determinism is suspended in regard to public perception of presidential performance? McCain or Clinton would have got the same break?

Personally, I'm inclined to think that the gap between his performance on the economy and his approval rating in general is best explained by the fact that he wasn't a practical candidate to begin with. He won a cultural victory, so to speak, appealing to cultural values, even moral instincts, and was allowed to do so by a Republican party unable to adopt a convincing position on the economy.


Well, I doubt the poll included people in areas such as Ohio. I just spent five scary days there visiting my husband's extended family. I heard comments ranging from "It's all gone downhill since He came into power" (uttered by a born-again Christian woman in her 60s who actually believes that Obama is the anti-Christ, so she never refers to "Him" by name - !) to "Obama just wants to spend and spend and spend and drive this country into the ground; it's his revenge for not letting us turn into a socialist state" (henh?!). These folks have college degrees; however, they don't read newspapers (or anything much aside from bibles and faith-related texts) and instead rely on Faux News to stay "informed". Hmmm.

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