The Worst President Ever?
The White House has tried to dismiss the quite extraordinary results of a new poll on Barack Obama’s approval ratings.
Maybe they shouldn’t be so quick.
The Gallup figures show Obama’s rating now stands at 47 per cent – the lowest ever recorded for any president at this point in his term of office.
With Obama fighting to persuade America on healthcare, climate change and the war in Afghanistan you would think this would be cause for concern.
So what was the response of press secretary Robert Gibbs? “If I was heart patient and Gallup was my ECG, I’d get another doctor.
“I don’t pay a lot of attention to the meaninglessness of it.”
He then compared the poll result to “what a six-year-old with a crayon” could come up with.
Sure, polls go up and down but this Gallup survey of presidential approval ratings has taken place since 1938. It is significant.
And while George W Bush’s rating of 86 per cent came in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 even Watergate-tainted leaders like Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford polled more than 50 per cent.
Analysts say the poor ratings have a lot to do with the economy - high unemployment and people feeling the pinch.
There is also a sense that Obama has tried to do too much too soon. And US politics has descended to an all-time low in terms of partisan bickering.
But dipping below 50 per cent is a big deal and Obama should be worried.
Even if his press secretary is not.