Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Barack Obama: Polarizer-in-Chief - by Peter Roff - US News & World Report

January 31, 2012

Barack Obama won the White House in a landslide in 2008, posting the most convincing win of any Democrat since Lyndon Johnson in 1964. By promising "hope" and "change," he garnered more than 69 million votes, winning just under 53 percent of the popular vote and 365 votes in the electoral college.

He did it by campaigning as a post-partisan centrist, tapping into the resentment many Americans felt against the party in power over issues ranging from the war in Iraq to the Wall Street bailout. His manner of governing, however, has been a far cry from the kind of president he promised to be.

Beginning with the earliest days of his administration, Obama has come across as a man who doesn't care to listen to the people with whom he disagrees. From his dismissal of GOP congressional critics because "I won" to his walking away from Arizona GOP Gov. Jan Brewer in the middle of a conversation at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, the president shows little tolerance for those who think differently about the way the nation should be governed. To put it bluntly, the president is a polarizing figure, something that is reflected in the latest Gallup Poll released Friday. Democrats love him, and Republicans? Well, not so much.

According to Gallup, "the historically high gap" between what Republicans and Democrats think of Obama has existed for most
of his tenure in office. "In fact, Obama's Year Three average
68-percentage-point partisan gap is tied for the fourth highest" the venerable polling firm has recorded, going back to the Eisenhower administration—and little surprise, as 80 percent of Democrats and only 12 percent of Republicans approve of the
job he is doing as president.

[Vote now: Will Obama be a one-term president?]


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