This problem happened to Bill Clinton, too, if you recall. Each and every time Clintons popularity dipped, he simply switched positions to a more popular one to nudge his numbers upward. His entire presidency was poll-driven, at least enough so that he got elected despite an often embarrassing first term. FDR was also a decision-by-poll president, and was perhaps the most masterful at getting re-elected. If your numbers dip, find out what the public wants and support it! Even when it doesnt work, its still better than doing nothing. Heck, even Carters ham-with-extra-malaise speech was done to drive up Carters sagging popularityand it worked for while!
This is a lesson that our current president has not learned. He took a quick jab on Cap and Trade, but shrugged it off. The Gates incident delivered an uppercut, although keen fight observers suspect he punched himself. ObamaCare has delivered a series of stunning cross punches from the right, and he is now feeling some left hooks pounding him further. The Czar expected some stronger defense, such as throwing up his hands to say that Congress keeps messing up his grand plans, but instead the President seems to be waiting for the bell to ring (which it will do shortly when Congress breaks).
That may not be enough for him to catch his breath. Commentarys Peter Wehner even proposes two Democratic governors are likely to lose their seats to Republicans over Obama decisions. If the latter happens, Wehner reasonably concludes, Democrats will see the writing on the wall: the President is a political liability. NROs Victor Davis Hanson warns of an upcoming stampeding herd of House Democrats, although the Czar suspects the movement may have already started away from Speaker Pelosi. Whither shall they run?
The Czar dismisses a stampede as fantasy, and believes that politics will go the way of politics: as with Carter and Clinton, the Democrats will not admit their President was a disaster. Instead, there will be a distant tolerance: mealy-mouthed support for the most obvious Obama decisions, and total silence on the rest. Every so often, a little historical revision. The Democrats, like more than half of Americans, did not understand who Obama was (although he made it very clear throughout the campaign that he was an agenda-driven élitist but a political lightweight). Just as poll numbers show Americans are now dropping Hope and Change, the Democratsunderstandably more slowlywill be looking for a safer way to save their hides in 2010. The less said to and about the President, they will conclude, the better. Tolerate him, but keep him distant from your political goals.
The Czar will also predict this: based on these numbers, unless President Obama completely changes his approach to governance and politics, he stands little chance of re-election in 2012. The fluff and pomp that made him President is clearly inadequate to keep him President. Even Clinton figured that out.