Tales from the Trail

Obama gives himself a B+

December 14, 2009

President Barack Obama is giving himself  “a good solid B+” from his job performance thus far and is brushing off polls showing his approval rating has dropped below 50 percent. OBAMA/BANKS

Obama was interviewed by Oprah Winfrey in a show that was broadcast on ABC on Sunday and the queen of daytime TV wanted to know how Obama would grade himself. Obama said he deserved a B+, which in the U.S. education system, is very good but not up to an excellent A.

He said he reached his conclusion because of the many challenges he had tackled and that if he gets a healthcare bill he can say, his grade would inflate to an A-.

“I think that we have inherited the biggest set of challenges of any president since Franklin Delano Roosevelt. We stabilized the economy, prevented the possibility of a Great Depression or a significant financial meltdown.”

“The economy is growing again. We are on our way out of Iraq. I think we’ve got the best possible plan for Afghanistan. We have reset our image around the world. We have achieved an international consensus around the need for Iran and North Korea to disable their nuclear weapons. and I think that we’re going to pass the most significant piece of social legislation since Social Security and that is health insurance for every American,” he said.

(That line about Iran sounded like a little misspeak. As far as we know the U.S. at this point does not think Iran actually has a nuclear weapon, but is trying to develop one.)

As for his approval ratings, Obama said “it was inevitable” that they would fall.

Photo credit: Reuters/Larry Downing (Obama)

Comments
19 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

Sorry, I don’t know what school system you went to, but you don’t get to grade yourself.

With a 44 percent (Rassmussen) and a 48 percent (Gallup), it is hardly worthy of a B+. If you want to talk about effort, then fine give yourself a B+ any president gets at least a B+ for effort.

But the overall grade is closer to a D (I am being generous) because he has a 10+ percent unemployment rate and his drunken spending spree with printing presses spitting out wads of cash will lead to a day of reckoning which will make the great depression look like a minor economic downturn.

The freefall in his approval rating says it all. The American people give him the gradem, not him. What arrogance.

Posted by TyC | Report as abusive
 

Unbelievable….this guy just keeps on soaking it up. He insists they only spent 5 Billion of the tarp for Banks but credits himself for shring up the financial system. Heck, that was in place and going through the system before Jan. 20. What has the 787 Billion Stimulus done? We are at 10 % and will above 14% by summer…watch and see…maybe higher. He is into 10 months on his job and already grading himself? What a conceited….I got to go..this is grade school crap.

Posted by suemarie000 | Report as abusive
 

No actually not any President would get a B+ for effort, although it wouldn’t surprise me to learn you voted for Dubya with that thought process. So now you are tying the unemployment rate percentage directly to the President’s ability as President eh? Given your prior thoughts, it’s no surprise that you would think that one man, President or no, would have an immediate impact of a grossly corrupt and mismanaged system that has been in place for a long time.

Let me sum up approval ratings for ya:

-Republicant’s = 0%
-Impatient and conservative independents are not going to like Obama because their me me me now now now attitude like you display isn’t going to be satisfied by long-term solutions
-Democrats = I can’t speak for everyone but all the ones I know still stand behind the President

The man won the Presidency by a small percentage. Do you think it would take much in terms of pathetic and obvious obstructive delays by the opposition party in a sad attempt to paint the Presidency as unsuccessful to wear on approval ratings slightly? If you think not, then you have a much more optimistic opinion of the masses than I.

Posted by pyradius | Report as abusive
 

You do realize that he was asked to grade himself, right? Thats not arrogance, thats answering a question.

Posted by Llama | Report as abusive
 

He has an approval rating of below 50%, within his first year as president. That seems to be an F, to me.

Aside from spending, rhetoric and keeping the status quo, he seems to have little to contribute.

Aside from the fact that Europe loves him. And we all know how important the opinions of European teenagers are to world affairs, amiright?

But he does seem to be a reset button. He has allowed America to reset the clock on its perceptions.

Mainly due to the fact that many in Europe vote based on trendy populism, and many in America are simply too stupid to notice that Obama is not changing much at all.

Posted by defcon86 | Report as abusive
 

So let’s see, basing grades off of approval ratings of people who have no concept in economics. That’s a brilliant grading system you’ve come up with.

Well add to this the fact that Obama won the Presidency by 52%, and you can bet the very next day all the failed Republicans would be giving him a 0% approval, he’d be at 52% approval at Day 1 in office, which by your logic means he’s got an ‘F’ from day 1 forward. Congratulations!

Posted by pyradius | Report as abusive
 

During a prime time press conference on April 13, 2004, President Bush was asked to name a mistake that he had made since taking office and what he had learned from it. Bush was unable to answer the question. A few weeks later, he was asked again. He still wouldn’t give any ground. Now that’s arrogance.
At the time Bush’s approval rating was right where Obama’s is now, but after the 2004 election, it never saw 50% again. Or 40%.

Posted by getplaning | Report as abusive
 

Well lets grade Obama based on his own list of accomplishments:

1.) “We stabilized the economy”—oh, really, then why the need for constant stimulus spending? FAIL.
2.) “prevented the possibility of a Great Depression or a significant financial meltdown”—oh really, then why are banks failing on a weekly basis? FAIL.
3.) “The economy is growing again”—GDP due to government spending doesn’t count. FAIL.
4.) “We are on our way out of Iraq”—GW already had these plans in motion before you took office. FAIL.
5.) “I think we’ve got the best possible plan for Afghanistan”—you mean by not letting our soldiers fight due to excessively strict ROE? FAIL.
6.) “We have reset our image around the world”—perhaps, but as a whipping boy. FAIL.
7.) “We have achieved an international consensus around the need for Iran and North Korea to disable their nuclear weapons”—getting the UN to actually DO anything is what counts. FAIL.
8.) “I think that we’re going to pass the most significant piece of social legislation since Social Security and that is health insurance for every American”—you don’t have it yet, and the legislation is so terrible that even if it passes….FAIL.

Lets tally that up: Zero out of eight…FAIL.

Posted by pHDependentJim | Report as abusive
 

Obama might get a B for attendance and spelling, maybe even a B+ for wearing semi-nice clothes to the prom, but:
- for his betrayal of America by excluding the single-payer healthcare option from debate, an F
- for his appeasement of war profiteers, an F
- for giving Joe Lieberman and Rahm Emanuel the time of day, an F
- for letting Goldman run Treasury, an F
and
- for failing to prosecute war criminals, life in prison, automatic detention.

Also, note to Mrs Obama from The Teacher: the words “hope” and “change” would like their names removed from Barack’s platform, moving forward.

Posted by HBC | Report as abusive
 

By “war criminals” I assume your referring to the entire Bush Administration? Yes I agree there.

I don’t believe single payer health care ever had a chance but maybe next time they can start with “medicare for everyone” and less people will be afraid of the name of the programs.

A person can be very smart, but the sad truth is that people in general are very easy to manipulate, scare, and in general people are very stupid as a whole. Because the public is so predictable in this way they will always loose to those who are pulling the strings, the rich and powerful.

Posted by TheSanDiego | Report as abusive
 

Bush was president for four years and still had a higher approval rating that Obama does after less than one year in office. Obama giving himself a B+ is laughable. He is a failure in such a short time. Americans are clearly not in support of his agenda because his poll numbers keep falling and falling and falling.

His answer to the question was arrogant. He should have answered, “the American people will grade me based on how well I do my job!” Well, Mr. President, the people are speaking. But to be fair, he had no choice but to actually give himself a grade. Knowing full well how poor his approval rating is, he had no choice but to answer the way he did.

Unfortunately, the growing majority do not agree with him…

Oh, BTW, Rasmussen and Gallup are a couple of my sources.

Posted by TyC | Report as abusive
 

Bush was a moron, and so was anyone who voted for him. Bush’s high approval ratings were because the nation rallied around him after the terrorist attack he failed to prevent. His score fell to a new low every month until the eagerly anticipated end, where it rested at below 30 percent.
Obama’s problem is he isn’t arrogant ENOUGH. He wants to please everyone and fails to lead when it matters most. His supporters are abandoning him because he has turned the healthcare reform that he campaigned and won on over to Rahm Emmanuel and the insurance lobby. Instead of a government takeover of healthcare he has stood by and allowed a big business takeover of healthcare. That is why his poll numbers are plunging. The majority wanted single payer, the public option, or medicare buy-in. As these things get taken off the table, and Obama does nothing, his poll numbers fall. Any idiot can see that.

Posted by Yellow105 | Report as abusive
 

Yellow105. Not one thing you said is based on anything but emotion.

But since you made that emotional diatribe.

One thing I will grant you after reading it, Obama is a failure who really does deserve an F grade. He isn’t a leader, he is a follower.

The clear majority do not want a singler payer, public option or medicare buy-in. That’s because the majority (54 percent) don’t want any plan mucking through congress. Since the majority don’t want their fiasco, that means they don’t want what is in their bill.

Posted by TyC | Report as abusive
 

Yellow105 is exactly right, TC. Bush’s approval rating was indeed lifted by the national unity following 9/11. Bush’s approval rating did end up below 30%. That is no emotional diatribe, that is the truth.
We can rehash all the statistics as many times as you like.

CBS/NYT- A clear majority of Americans — 72 percent — support a government-sponsored health care plan to compete with private insurers, a new CBS News/New York Times poll finds. Most also think the government would do a better job than private industry at keeping down costs and believe that the government should guarantee health care for all Americans.

NBC/Wall Street Journal- Poll numbers show that the American public overwhelmingly favors a choice between getting insurance coverage either through the private market or a government run option. Indeed, 76 percent of respondents said it was either “extremely” or “quite” important to “give people a choice of both a public plan administered by the federal government and a private plan for their health insurance.”

The plan that has come out the other end of this battle has none of these features. So you are now correct, the majority don’t want THIS plan mucking through congress. It is a huge giveaway to the business of healthcare. So, again, Yellow105 has hit the nail on the head.

Posted by getplaning | Report as abusive
 

getplaning, apples and oranges. Let’s see how far down Obama goes if he lasts a second term.

Right now you are comparing year one (Obama) with year four (Bush). That makes no sense at all, but since you like to twist the facts, I don’t expect anything else from you.

Since you like PollingReport here are the apples to apples comparison between Obama and Bush. You already know Obama has the lowest first year of any president (44 to 48 percent and holding).

In year one from 21 Feb 2001 to 9 Sep 2001 Bush lowest approval was 55 percent and his highest approval was 63 percent. This was before 9/11. Of course, his leadership brought the nation together and his approval that first year went up from there. No news there…

So, even before 9/11 occurred Bush had a better overall approval rating his first year. Obama is a failure in comparison.

It is laughable that Reid and Pelosi said there would be no health care passed without the “public option”. Well, guess what? The majority of Americans do not want their health care plan, with our without, the public option. It was always a duck and as I said before, the majority of Americans don’t want and never wanted their health care fiasco.

Of the minority who want their horrible plan (even the original version), sure they probably do want a public option. But again, you compare apples to oranges. The majority don’t want their health care fiasco in any version. To spin it any other way is purely laughable.

I have to give you credit for being a master of deception. But the people don’t agree with your twisting of the truth.

Posted by TyC | Report as abusive
 

TC, Obama ran on and won on healthcare reform. The majority of Americans elected him for this reason over all others. You have never been able to supply anything more than your own opinion to contradict this. I think you post the same false assertions over and over again to irritate people, not because you actually believe them.

Obama’s approval score probably will fall a lot further. He may even be a one term president, as you suggest.
The next election cycle will see a lot of primary challenges, on both sides. This battle has eliminated the center. There are now the People on the left, and the Corporations on the right. Sadly, the Corporations can spend infinitely more than the People. They already have.

I read an article in the Wall Street Journal today that said the Tea Party had higher favorability ratings than either the Democratic or Republican parties. Perhaps we can both have a laugh at that one.

Posted by getplaning | Report as abusive
 

getplaning. Once again, 54 percent (Rasmussen) of Americans do not want the health care plan mucking through congress. That has held steady, within a few points, throughout this process. That means they don’t want the public option. Why? Because they don’t want what the president and congress have to offer. Nothing else is relevant.
I have provided this factual information (it is not an opinion) before. But as I have said, you only think your sources are valid. That is laughable.

The rest of your post is pure opinion, which you still have a right to. Even if I disagree with your cynicism. But that’s the best you can do since your liberal friends are having a rough time in office.

One thing I will comment on is this, you dismissed the strength of the tea party movement as well as the 9/12 march. It is proving to be much stronger than you give it credit for. Granted, if it weren’t for the president and congress trying to push an agenda which Americans don’t want and didn’t ask for by electing this bunch (They were elected as a protest against Bush and nothing else…), then it is probable the tea party movement wouldn’t have become a reality. But you know, people are upset and when their freedoms are threatened will stand up and do what it takes to save them. Not only for us, but for our children.

I am sure you will have a cynical response to that, but I am just being real by giving an honest opinion and leaving the political gamesmanship out of it. I really don’t have any expectations you will do the same.

Posted by TyC | Report as abusive
 

All I can add to this tit-for-tat is the two polls I quoted were not my opinion, they were polls of a larger sample of Americans than conservative pollster Rasmussen. I know Rasmussen is a very respected outcome poller, but his results on issue polls are reliably biased a few ponts to the right. But you have your sources and I have mine. That you only listen to sources that tell you what you want to hear is a shame.

The Tea Party is a consequence of Americans’ disgust with their representatives selling them down the river for corporate campaign cash. But peel back the veneer, and there you will find those very same corporations, organizing and financing the whole movement. When (or if, teabaggers don’t seem too bright) they finally realize this, the backlash will be harsh. Maybe at that point, the rational segment of conservatism can reassert itself.

Posted by getplaning | Report as abusive
 

Well there you have it. Time will tell if your cynicism holds up.

So far, everything I have said has come true. This administration and this congress are as foolish as the people who support them.

Posted by TyC | Report as abusive
 

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