Hillary Clinton still leads the field of contenders from both parties for the U.S. presidency in 2016, but her lead is softening. As FiveThirtyEight reports “The controversies surrounding the I.R.S.’s targeting of conservative groups and the executive branch’s handling of last year’s attacks in Benghazi, Libya, have yet to have much impact on President Obama’s approval ratings (although some slight decline may be hidden by an improved economic mood). But Mr. Obama’s former secretary of state, Hillary Rodham Clinton, appears to be have been more affected.
“A Quinnipiac University poll released on Friday found Mrs. Clinton’s favorability rating declining to 52 percent, from 61 percent in February. The decrease was considerably more modest in a CNN poll released earlier this month, with Mrs. Clinton’s favorability rating decreasing to 61 percent from 63 percent in March. Nevertheless, Mrs. Clinton’s favorability scores had hovered in the mid-60s for much of the past two years — and those lofty ratings appear to be a thing of the past. So, are Americans carefully parsing through the details of the Benghazi attack — and finding Mrs. Clinton more culpable than Mr. Obama?
“It’s easy to be popular when nobody is criticizing you — and there was a long period, from the closing stages of the 2008 campaign through most of her tenure as secretary of state, when Republicans had little interest in attacking Mrs. Clinton directly. Now that Republicans have chosen to engage her again, her numbers are coming down. The largest decline in her ratings, as Ed Kilgore noted, has come from Republican voters, with a more modest decline among independents and almost none at all among Democrats. This is what happens when a politician returns to being in the partisan fray after having drifted above it for some time.
But if Mrs. Clinton were to run for president in 2016, Republicans would undoubtedly have found any number of other ways to criticize her — from her policy proposals, to concerns about her age or health, to gaffes that she might make on the campaign trail, to controversies recycled from her tenure as secretary of state.”
More at: http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/05/31/predictable-decline-in-hillary-clintons-popularity/
Picking up on a theme popularized by Al Gore, President Obama recently criticized media journalism for
promoting an “assault on reason” and for contributing to a divided culture.
“The U.S. news media typically applies hackneyed or partisan templates to political issues, often distorting rather than informing the public debate,” reports GlobalResearch:
“President Barack Obama has become the latest politician to put his toe in the raging waters of the media debate, with some mild observations about the powerful role that media outlets play in reporting – and often distorting – political events.
In an interview with The New Republic, Obama stated the obvious: ‘One of the biggest factors is going to be how the media shapes debates Continue reading “Obama points to assault on reason”
“That’s how it goes with kids. You hardly notice how fast they’re growing up, then suddenly big sis is nearly as tall as Mom and the little one is a tween, gently sassing Dad.” You have to hand it to Huffington Post for this entry about something other than the most obvious headlines. As the story continues:
“On the inaugural platform again four years later, a more mature Malia Obama, 14, and Sasha, 11, smiled, sometimes giggled, and chatted with their cousin Avery Robinson as they awaited their father’s arrival. Sasha bounced on her feet a bit as if chilly; later at the parade she danced in her seat to the beat of passing drummers. Malia, rivaling her mother’s 5 feet 11 inches, looked poised in calf-high black boots. Like any girls their age, they whipped out their smartphones in the reviewing stand to take photos.
“Both daughters appeared relaxed and oblivious to their global TV audience, unaffected by their rare status, unfazed by the fuss over their father. Continue reading “Sasha and Malia to make history”
Outside the bubble of American media, nations around the globe are responding to the news of Barak Obama’s reelection. See “World Congratulates Obama on Victory” in todays edition of Al Jazeera: “World leaders have hailed President Barack Obama’s sweeping re-election, with allies pledging to deepen cooperation with the United States on fighting the world economic slump and maintaining security across the globe.”
Remember that opinion outside the US had favored a second term to the incumbent U.S. President by a five-to-one margin, as reported in Worlding.org (See “World Opinion on U.S. Election.” Oct. 24, 2012)
As Al Jaeera continues “Congratulations poured in on Wednesday from across the world, including fellow UN Security Council members Britain, China, France and Russia as well as its staunch Middle East ally Israel and Obama’s ancestral home in Kenya.
“Russia President Vladimir Putin, whose relations with Washington have often been frosty, sent a telegram congratulating Obama on his victory over Republican challenger Mitt Romney.”
“Tomorrow, Election Day, we have an extraordinarily important decision to make. Many look at the economy and wish the recovery were happening more rapidly. Some would like to see a larger return on their stocks. And a select few look at their families and hope each day for the same protections that almost every other family in the country currently has.” Thus begins an entry in today’s Huffington Post entitled “Obama Responds to 10-Year-Old’s Heartfelt Letter About Her Dads.”
Apparently, young Sophia Bailey Klugh penned a letter to President Barack Obama “in which she told the president how happy she is that he agrees with her on the topic of marriage equality. You see, young Sophia has two dads. She went on to ask the president an important question: ‘I am so glad that you agree two men can love each other because I have two dads and they love each other, but at school kids think that it’s gross and weird, but it really hurts my heart and feelings…. If you were me and you had two dads that loved each other and kids at school teased you about it, what would you do?’ Continue reading “Obama and tomorrow”
Outside the United States, people favor Obama by a five-to-one margin in the upcoming American presidential election. A BBC World Service opinion poll has found sharply higher overseas approval ratings for US President Barack Obama than Republican challenger Mitt Romney.An average of 50% favored Mr Obama, with 9% for Mr Romney, in the survey of 21,797 people in 21 countries.Only Pakistan’s respondents said they would prefer to see Mr Romney win November’s election. France was the most strongly pro-Obama (72%). The survey was conducted by GlobeScan/PIPA between 3 July and 3 September.
With the approaching elections in the US, the nation’s polarization is getting more and more attention. Similar divides persist in many countries, causing those on both sides to wonder why their opposition seems so entrenched in its opposition. How can they not understand? Why are people so wrong-headed? What causes people to vote against their own interests? One infamous figure in American politics has given this matter a lot of thought––and for good reason. Let’s not forget that former Vice President Al Gore actually was elected by the popular vote when he ran for the nation’s highest office, Continue reading “Assault on Reason, revisited”
“If you believe, as we do, that America’s future is bound in essential ways to science and innovation, we urge you to join us in working to ensure the reelection of President Obama. “ So reads, “An Open Letter to the American People” in which 68 Nobel Prize winners in different scientific fields have come out and openly endorsed the Democratic candidate for another four years in office.
Recall that in 2009 Obama himself won the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to improve global cooperation and non-violence. Here’s how the letter begins: “America’s economic future, the quality of our health, and the quality of our environment depend on our ability to continue America’s proud legacy of discovery and invention. As winners of the Nobel Prizes in science, Continue reading “68 nobel winners endorse Obama”
At one moment in the 2012 presidential campaign season, President Obama lamented the difficulty of “changing Washington from the inside” in direct reference to the “Hope” and “Change” themes that had brought him into office in 2008. Of course, the desperate Romney immediately seized on this as an acknowledgement of Obama’s failure to fulfill election promises, declaring that Obama’s remarks signaled the President’s final surrender in arguments over his competence. If we think of recurring “inside/outside” Washington rhetoric in terms of worlding, it’s worth remembering that binary conventions have always been the devil in definitions of world systems. Continue reading “The inside job”