From ISIS to the economy, domestic drama to foreign policy, it seems that the President is damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t.
Last month, the entire U.S. government received the deplorable edict of the worst approval rating ever, with 71 percent of respondents saying that the country is “headed in the wrong direction.” The same Gallup poll revealed that only 41 percent of Americans approve of the work done by the Oval Office.
This month it got worse.
Based on the Gallup Daily Tracking Poll, Obama’s approval rating hit another bottom-of-the-barrel rating of 38 percent. According to the conservative blog Daily Caller, his rating has not been this low since October of 2011, “when unemployment was at 9 percent and he was struggling to pass his jobs bill. It was also 38 percent following the downgrade of the U.S. credit by Standard & Poor that August.”
Typically, crisis communications steps up and begins to rectify the perception problem at times like these. So where is President Obama’s crisis team? Does he not care because he is a “lame duck” president who’s been through this too many times to count? Does he not have time to work on refreshing his image because he is too busy trying to enforce his policy and deal with a multitude of intractable problems around the globe? Does he not have the energy because he’s too busy finding the next guy (or gal) for the job?
Imagine that you’re a member of the comms team at The White House and it’s clear why so many chiefs-of-staff, communications directors, and press secretaries don’t stay in their positions for long.
On the other hand, it could always be worse: the “lowest presidential approval rating in modern U.S. history” award still belongs to Jimmy Carter, who beat Obama by ten points at 28 percent.