By Mortimer B. Zuckerman
Posted: July 2, 2010
The hope that fired up the election of Barack Obama has flickered out, leaving a national mood of despair and disappointment. Americans are dispirited over how wrong things are and uncertain they can be made right again...
There is a widespread feeling that the government doesn't work, that it is incapable of solving America's problems...
Historically, presidents with approval ratings below 50 percent—Obama is at 45—lose an average of 41 House seats in midterm elections. This year, that would return the House of Representatives to Republican control. The Democrats will suffer disproportionately from a climate in which so many Americans are either dissatisfied or angry with the government,... In any election year, voters' feelings typically settle in by June. But now they are being further hardened by the loose regulation that preceded the poisonous oil spill—and the tardy government response. ..
The promise of economic health that might salvage industries and jobs, and provide a safety net, has proved illusory. The support for cutting spending and cutting the deficit reflects in part the fact that the American public feels the Obama-Congress spending program has not worked. As for the healthcare reform bill, the most recent Rasmussen survey indicates that 52 percent of the electorate supports repeal of the measure—42 percent of them strongly.
It is clear that the magical moment of Obama's campaign conveyed a spell that is now broken in the context of the growing public disillusionment. Obama's rise has been spectacular, but so too has been his fall.
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