NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

July 12, 2014

Shribman: The worst president?

Wow. A reputable poll shows that the public believes Barack Obama is the worst president since World War II. Worse than Richard M. Nixon, driven from the presidency by Watergate? Much. Worse than Jimmy Carter, for decades the very symbol of the feckless chief executive? Loads. Worse than George W. Bush, still a lightning rod on the left and a symbol of disappointment on the right? Definitely.

These startling poll results set loose the predictable reaction: a flurry of told-you-so nods on the right and a fusillade of this-tells-us-nothing assertions on the left. For once, they’re both right.

Obama is in trouble, no matter how carefully you peel through the Quinnipiac University poll that is causing such a firestorm. There’s almost no good news there, or anywhere else, for the president. Then again, this worst-president poll sheds little light. Almost every veteran observer of polls and presidents will likely attest to that.

First, the trouble.

Obama has it, in several dimensions. The public is split evenly — 48 percent to 48 percent — on whether the president is honest and trustworthy. It’s split fairly evenly on whether he has strong leadership qualities, with a slight advantage to those who think he doesn’t. The same for whether the president cares about “people like you,” with the same slight advantage this time to the president.

Here’s the big one. By a fairly substantial margin (45 percent to 38 percent), the public believes the nation would be better off had former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts been elected two years ago rather than Obama.

No one can possibly argue that these figures are good news for the president, who is dealing with an immigration crisis at the Mexican border, a crumbling Iraq, an uncertain Afghanistan and an economy that hasn’t bounced back fully. How Barack Obama, employing the idiom of hope and change, would love to run against an incumbent president with a portfolio like that!

Text Only | Photo Reprints

NDN Video
Heartwarming 'Batkid Begins' Documentary is Tear-Jerker Orlando Bloom 'Takes a Swing' at Justin Bieber In Ibiza Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Sadie Doesn't Want Her Brother to Grow Up "Maxim" Hotness! See Jessica Alba's Sizzling Spread Two women barely avoid being hit by train Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber Reportedly Came To Blows In Ibiza Meet the Man Behind Dumb Starbucks Chris Pratt Adorably Surprises Kids at a 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Screening NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Thieves pick the wrong gas station to rob Golden Sisters on '50 Shades' trailer: 'Look At That Chest!' Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show'
Special Features
NRA Waterfront Plans