The First Draft: Obama’s travels of no help at home
President Barack Obama remains hard at work at the summit of G8 wealthy industrialized nations in Italy on Thursday, while his top domestic initiatives stumble and misfire at home.
Obama’s top legislative priority, a massive overhaul of the U.S. healthcare system, has lurched through weeks of intensive horse-trading and positioning on Capitol Hill, where five different committees in Congress are trying to fashion workable proposals that can win initial approval by the August recess.
That timeline appears to be slipping as the effort to attract Republican support, pare the bill’s price tag of at least $1 trillion and find ways to pay for it without broad tax increases has left even some Democrats restive.
Obama’s other priority in Congress, the climate change bill, faces a much tougher road in the Senate than in the House, which passed a version late last month.
Meanwhile, polls show Obama’s approval rating, while still strong, slipping slightly. A new CNN poll put it at 61 percent , down a point from a month earlier, while his disapproval rating inched up two points to 37 percent. In some areas he has taken an even harder hit, with his approval rating in the battleground state of Ohio slipping from 62 percent in May to 49 percent.
It’s enough to make a guy not want to come home.
Photo credit: REUTERS/Brian Snyder (Librarian Gary Klein looks at jobs at The Work Place, which offers career services, in Boston)