President Barack Obama said Sunday on CBS's 60 Minutes that fixing the economy will take more than one president, and the American people seem to agree.
A new CBS News poll found that 54% of Americans think the president doesn't deserve another four years, a sentiment that reflects voters’ unease with a reelection strategy based on class warfare that is alienating those who identify with the timeless American values of self-reliance and personal responsibility.
Obama's new approval rating is lower than the approval rating of Geroge W. Bush at this point in his presidency eight years ago. This signals not only the resilience of a negative global economic outlook but also a Democratic message that seems to be failing to boost Obama's prospects, despite a dysfunctional Republican presidential field.
The president unofficially launched his populist-themed reelection bid in September during a joint session of Congress in which he demanded the passing of a $447 jobs package that stalled in the Democratic-controlled Senate, despite a vigorous push during which Obama sought to portray Republicans as enemies of the middle class.
The popularity of the Occupy Wall Street movement gave Obama and the Democrats further ammunition to fire their message of economic inequality by pushing for a payroll tax cut extension for the middle class financed by a surtax on the rich, in the hopes of differencing themselves from the Republicans who they say put the interests of millionaires ahead of the common guy.
But Obama's populist rhetoric reached fever pitch during his "fair shot and fair shake" Osawatomie, Kansas, speech in which the president channeled Theodore Roosevelt in a new attempt to call out on Republicans for purportedly wanting to retake the White House in 2012, just to tell people "you're on your own."
And here lies the flaw on Obama's reelection strategy. According to a report by the Pew Global Attitudes Project, 58% of Americans believe the state shouldn’t intervene in people’s lives while they’re trying to achieve their goals, a reaffirmation of America’s individualism which is at odds with Obama’s “we’re all in this together” message.
The finding spells trouble for Democratic strategists as it might signal the existence of a new Silent Majority who feels strongly about the American values of self-reliance and personal responsibility and that, feeling alienated by Obama's class warfare rhetoric, may vote the flawed Republicans back into the White House and the Senate next November.
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