A new poll released earlier this week reports that President Barack Obama’s approval rating continues to plummet. Some are calling it a disaster.
The Wall Street Journal/NBC poll hits the president on two fronts. His overall approval rating tied an all-time low – just 41 percent. But the tell-tale report puts his foreign policy rating at just 37 percent.
What makes the number even more disconcerting for Obama is that the poll was conducted before the latest push by terrorist organizations to take over more key cities in chaos-riddled Iraq.
The poll does reflect Obama’s handling of Russia’s involvement in Ukraine and the release of five key Taliban leaders from Guantanamo Bay in exchange for Bowe Bergdahl, the Army sergeant from Idaho who was captured by the Taliban after leaving his post while stationed in Afghanistan. Bergdahl spent the past five years as a Taliban prisoner until his release last month.
One has to wonder how this latest poll will translate to the approval rating of Hillary Clinton, who, by all accounts, wants to follow her former boss into the White House in 2016, if she can win the Democratic Party nomination two years from now.
Wait! Clinton is the subject of her own poll this week. It, too, is not overwhelmingly positive.
The Wall Street Journal/NBC polling organization released some numbers Wednesday that claim only 38 percent of registered voters would vote for Clinton if she ran in 2016, while 37 percent say they “definitely” would oppose her.
Among Democrats, 75 percent say they would vote for her, but among Republicans and independents those numbers change dramatically, with 70 percent and 40 percent, respectively, stating they would oppose her candidacy.
How much of her allegiance to President Obama’s policies has weighed negatively on Clinton is up for speculation, but Obama’s falling popularity cannot help Clinton if she continues to cling too tightly to his coat-tails.
She has her own baggage. Her role in the Benghazi, Libya killings is still up for debate. Her claim of responsibility, but not blame, is a political football to be kicked around. It still seems ludicrous that Susan Rice and not Hillary Clinton responded to press briefings immediately after that incident. It was political maneuvering at best.
Her just-released memoir, “Hard Choices,” hasn’t helped spike her approval ratings, according to The Wall Street Journal/NBC poll. Maybe it’s the part about how “dead broke” she and former President Bill Clinton were when they exited the White House.
There is news this week that Hillary and Bill have quite a nest egg now, an incredible fortune that they are trying to shield from estate taxes through financial loopholes both opposed while serving in public office.
Apparently, what is good for the goose, is not good for the gander.
With a net worth somewhere between $5 million and $25.5 million – a number Hillary Clinton reported in 2012 when she left her secretary of state post – there is no doubt they are trying to skirt the estate tax edict that could force forfeiture of 40 percent of that wealth to someone – perhaps daughter Chelsea Clinton – who someday will inherit that fortune.
If Hillary Clinton really wants to serve in the White House, she needs to be more truthful about her role in the Benghazi cover up, quit trying to convince Americans that she is “just like us” while admitting she belongs to that elite class of politicians who run our government and, finally, distance herself from the policies of Barack Obama.
An initial suggestion: Be one of the first Democrats to demand a full investigation of those lost emails of Lois Lerner at the Internal Revenue Service, involving the targeting of conservative and progressive groups for their political beliefs.
That touch of leadership might give her a bump in polls that currently show she is losing momentum she so desperately needs if she has any hope of gaining the Democratic nomination in 2016.
Bill James is a former editor and publisher of the Daily Republic, now living in Meridian, Idaho, a suburb of Boise.