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Morning Jay: Does Obama Really Believe He's Still Popular?

6:00 AM, Sep 16, 2011 • By JAY COST
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The difference, however, is that one in four Americans who approved of him back in January 2009 no longer do. That is a staggering loss of popular support – to put it in real terms, we’re talking about 58 million people who were once with Obama but no longer are today – and it makes this jobs bill strategy a waste of time. It is not going to move the needle appreciably: the people who still support him might be calling/writing/Tweeting, but he needs to convert some of the skeptical back to the faith, and doing the same-old, same-old is just not going to cut it.

So why is he even bothering with this circus show?

I can think of a few reasons, none of them flattering. Either he and his team don’t realize that the bottom has dropped out, so they don’t know that they need to change strategies, or they do realize it but haven’t come up with any alternatives.

My money is on the former – he and his team haven’t figured it out yet. Truman went hyper-partisan against the Republicans in 1948 because he believed that, deep down, the country was still way more Democratic than Republican (and he was right about that). Obama is behaving this way because he believes that, deep down, there are still way more Obama supporters than opponents.

Let’s keep in mind that this president’s “arrogance to excellence” ratio has always been staggeringly high, and realizing that the bottom has dropped out would require him to admit that he’s screwed up somewhere along the way. The sort of fellow willing to run for president after just two years in the Senate and make patently absurd promises about what his administration could do is not the sort with a thorough appreciation of his own faults.

Despite having written two autobiographies by the time he was 45, this president is really not very self-aware, and I doubt his sycophantic advisors are much better off. So, expect him to keep doing what he’s been doing over the last two years – acting as if he is not the divisive, unpopular leader he actually is.

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