Obama’s Miracle: He’s Making Bush Look Good
Back in April, Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg was fairly confident that Republicans had peaked too early. While Democratic losses would be severe, he predicted, « it will not be another 1994. » Now the former pollster for Bill Clinton is less sure Democrats can avoid a blowout.
President Obama has been enamored of the theme that the country can’t afford to return to what he terms the discredited policies of the Bush years. « That’s the mantra that he wants to drill into voters’ heads between now and November, » ABC News reported last summer.
The only problem, according to Mr. Greenberg, is that it doesn’t work. « Though voters agree the economy was an ‘inherited’ problem, they do not like to hear politicians blaming Bush or looking backwards, » he concluded in his study. In an interview with Jane Hamsher of the blog Firedog Lake, Mr. Greenberg went on to say: « I’m really puzzled by Democratic leaders stuck in a message that demonstrably doesn’t work. » He puts it down to the president listening to economic advisers who want him to set a rhetorical tone that « will help confidence to come back. »
But so far the only thing that seems to be coming back is nostalgia for George W. Bush. A new CNN poll finds voters still believe Mr. Obama is a better president than Mr. Bush was, but by only 47% to 45%. That’s down from a whopping 23-point margin last year. « Democrats would be wise to think twice before bringing up the name of President Bush on the campaign trail this fall, » says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.