Or, at least the 50.5% who voted for Obama are. This has been bugging me for a while.
Bernie Goldberg writes
I read an interesting letter in the Wall Street Journal the other day. It came from George in Seattle and was critical to how the president is scaring everybody over supposed “cuts” in spending brought on by sequester. Here’s what George writes:
“Can you imagine the private sector responding the way this administration is, with a 5% cutback that isn’t a real cutback? Imagine Hilton Hotels telling its customers that the beds might not be made. Imagine Hertz saying there would be hour-and-a-half waits at the counter or General Electric postponing locomotive deliveries. This is a reflection of how dumb the administration really thinks we are.”
I was with George right up until that last sentence. Yes, he’s right that the Obama administration thinks the American people are not too bright. But it’s not just that the president and his team think we’re dumb. We are dumb. (Not you and me of course.)
And they are right. Americans are dumb. Now comes the cascade of conflict:
I’m reminded of how clueless the American people can be by a couple of new polls. An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll shows that 59% of us think the country is moving in the wrong direction; only 32 percent think we’re moving in the right direction. When asked how the president is handling the economy, 44 percent approve, 51 percent disapprove.
When a vast majority of the American people think we’re heading the wrong way and believe the president isn’t handling the economy well, that’s very bad news for the people in charge. Except when it isn’t.
The same poll tells us that 50 percent of the American people approve of the job President Obama is doing. According to Rasmussen, 51 percent approve. (A Gallup poll just out has slightly different numbers: only 46 percent approve of the job President Obama is doing and the same number disapprove.)
So let’s see if I have this straight: about 6 out of 10 Americans think we’re heading south, more than half don’t like the way the president is taking care of the economy … and still half the country or a little more approves of the job the president is doing. Granted, 50 percent isn’t great, but it’s not all that bad either.
Rasmussen also reports that consumer confidence has hit its lowest point since last November. This should also be bad news for the president and Democrats in general. But it isn’t.
According to the NBC/WSJ poll, Americans prefer Democrats when it comes to looking out for the middle class, for handling health care, and for dealing with Medicare and Social Security. Voters even prefer Democrats on taxes … and think the Democratic Party is doing a better job with the economy, but only by a 32% to 30% margin.
So the folks think Republicans are better at controlling federal spending and getting the deficit under control … but numerous polls say they will blame Republicans for cutting too much if sequester – a fancy word to describe mandatory cuts in federal spending — brings on hardship. Get it? Voters think spending is out of control so they’ll blame the party that wants to cut spending … for cutting spending. Brilliant!
So WTF? Why is this?
Goldberg says likeability in part, and that’s true, but it’s more than that. It’s celebrity. It’s the cool factor.
Barack Obama is not just President. He is a celebrity. And celebrity matters more than anything. Obama is the Entertainment Tonight President- the ultimate conflation of Hollywood and Washington DC. Liberals drool over George Clooney. I’d bet that a majority of Obama voters believe that Michael Douglas was the 41st President and that Ben Affleck actually rescued the hostages in Iran. They think Deborah Norville and Mario Lopez are news anchors.
They’re stuck on celebrity. They’re stuck on stupid. They want to pledge to “serve” Obama as do the “cool” celebrities:
You have to to respect Obama for being smart enough to take advantage of this stupidity. He’s betting that his brand rises above politics.
Obama is once again hoping his personal brand can transcend the messy game of political wheeling-and-dealing. That’s the thinking behind the new 501(c)4 organization being launched by former Obama campaign officials, as the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday. It’s seeking to “leverage the campaign’s sophisticated organizing tools and rich voter database to support the president’s policy objectives,” Matea Gold writes. It will be run by Jim Messina, Obama’s 2012 campaign manager.
We’re not better off than four years ago. Unemployment is high, the GDP is stagnant, manufacturing is slowing, foreign policy has been on auto-pilot for the last four years but wow that Obama is a rock star! There is no question that the GOP needs to rethink it’s image and stop uttering moronic statements, but celebrity is tough to overcome when millions depend on Mario Lopez and George Clooney for how to think and vote.
And likely Obama will continue to exploit that stupidity, that Achilles Heel of the Obama supporters- celebrity.
That’s far more important than competence.