Yesterday I started talking about the odd statement from the outgoing-but-not-soon-enough president, Barack H. Obama, to the effect that he thought he would have won had he been able to go for a third term. That pesky Constitution, of course got in the way, but some other things might have as well.
There is no denying that Obama's personal popularity has finally gotten to a decent level, at least as far as the polls go. Now, exactly what is asked in those polls is probably suspect, although I usually don't challenge the methodology of experienced professionals in the business.
They may be wanting (or claiming to be wanting) to know if the respondent is approving of the job performance of the guy, and may actually ask that. But that isn't exactly ensuring that the respondent is answering that. There are, after all, polls asking about -- or allowing the respondent to answer about -- personal popularity.
Either way, I don't want to get into a debate about the way people answer those things. After all, if I get a poll on the phone and someone I don't know asks me if I approve of Barack Obama's job performance or, worse, if I approve of him personally, I'd probably hang up. I consider the fact that everything negative about Obama that's said in the press is turned by the left into a racial statement.
Ask Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader, who declared in Obama's first term that he would try to make him a "one-term president" and was immediately castigated for some kind of racial statement. Ask the "birthers" who, even this year, were categorized as trying to de-legitimize the "first black president", even though Obama's birthplace had nothing to do with his race.
So I'm not about to comment to a stranger, polling me on the phone, about Barack Obama, no matter how they phrase the question. Not happening. There's racism, murder and rape in descending order of animus among the left, and murder is slipping a bit.
That's me. I'm a big boy who can take it; besides, with nearly 600 essays online and many of them not exactly flattering to the outgoing president, I'm out there as a non-admirer of his enough already for all to see. Bottom line is that I doubt the accuracy of the polls, not because they're worded oddly, but because we're likely only to have a few weeks more of them, and surely a lot of respondents are saying "Yeah, sure, he was fine, loved him, blah, blah, glad he'll be gone but I'm going to lie to you because it's easier than getting called a racist and by the way, he'll be gone soon, did I mention that?"
Because I really don't believe for a minute that 55% of the USA thinks he did a good job. After all, 46% just voted for Donald Trump and actually elected him president, and not even 1% could possibly think Obama was worth the time to talk about -- and yet still vote for Trump. And that's before you throw in the 5% or so that voted for the other extra-party candidates. Surely a lot of them weren't too happy with Obama either.
But more than anything, Obama, as much as anyone, lost the election himself. Donald Trump was quite consistent in tying Hillary Clinton to Obama's legacy and calling her a potential "third term of Obama." Barack Obama himself said the same thing -- that when campaigning for her, he said he would consider it "a personal affront to his "legacy" if she were not elected. And he certainly campaigned, right out there with Beyonce and Jay-Z and all those other statesmen.
Guess what, Barry -- she was not elected. And it was your presidency and your legacy -- not your race -- that was on the ballot, and the voters rejected it (outside of California). They rejected a continuation of your feckless, weak foreign policy. They rejected abysmal economic growth. They rejected the steady decay in the percentage of Americans in the labor force. They rejected your sending Guantanamo detainees back to the battlefield, your inane Iran nuclear deal, your inability to call Islamist terrorism what it is and wondered why it was a stand you would make.
Shall I go on? Black Lives Matter and the taking the side of the convenience store robber and assailant Michael Brown instead of the cop who kept any other victim from being possibly killed by him? The apology tour? Contemptible treatment of our ally in Israel, ending with the vicious action by Obama in the U.N. this past week?
Nope, I don't think Obama was that likely to have won against Trump, as I think about it, unless somehow he got the lemmings to the polls. Which could have happened.
But if it came to that, I think it would have been tough for Barack Obama the man to have overcome Barack Obama, the president.
Especially with Donald Trump making the case.
Copyright 2016 by Robert Sutton
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