Poll shows tide turning for Obama

Published 10:14 pm Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The tide is turning for President Obama. Just 18 months ago, in the wake of his sweeping election and promises of change, approval ratings were high. So high, in fact, that more than 60 percent of respondents in a Washington Post/ABC News poll expressed confidence in his decision-making abilities.

Since then, we’ve been force-fed health care reform. We’ve watched as the president apologized for America’s actions around the world. We’ve waited for an economic recovery that was promised but hasn’t come as many people expected it would. Here in Alabama, we’ve sat helplessly by as oil poured into our precious Gulf of Mexico in what is the single largest environmental disaster our nation has ever faced, and we’ve waited for leadership that has yet to come from our president.

And amid it all, Americans have lost faith in their president and his mantra of change.

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So much faith that a new poll, published Tuesday, shows nearly 60 percent of Americans say they lack faith in President Obama and his ability to make decisions. Only 43 percent of Americans polled approve of the job he is doing on the economy and the majority, a full 54 percent, disapprove.

That’s a harsh criticism in a short term.

Being president isn’t an easy job. Surely, Mr. Obama knew that. Americans expect not only leadership but also results. With 18 months behind him, many of the people who elected him are looking for those results now. Without them, patience will run short, quickly.

Americans’ wants are simple: a stable, secure economy; the comfort of knowing their country is safe; the hope that they will have a legacy to leave for their children and the next generation; the hope that tomorrow holds more promise, more opportunity for everyone willing to work hard and do the right things.

And they want a president who can deliver the leadership to make sure those desires can become reality.