Opinion: As big jobs speech looms, 77% say Obama has nation on wrong track


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It could be worse.

But not much.

With only 427 days left before Americans pass judgment on Barack Obama’s presidency, nearly eight out of 10 of them say in a poll that they believe the country is seriously off on the wrong track.

That 77% is up 17 points just this year. And it’s the highest since George W. Bush went back to Texas.


Here’s how bad the new ABC News/Washington Post Poll is for Obama: The good news for now is that by only a 2-to-1 margin (34%-17%), respondents say the Democrat’s efforts on the economy have done more harm than good.

After all, with recorded unemployment at 9.1%, no new jobs created last month and no outlook for improvement, the number could be 3-to-1. And it may well become that. No wonder Rick Perry entered the Republican race.

It’s so bad that Vice President Joe Biden may want to look around for a new top of the ticket in 2012, lest he lose his job and that lucrative rent on the guest house from the Secret Service agents protecting him.

Even less-than-conservative websites like are publishing anguished articles nowadays such as ‘What Democrats Can Do About Obama.’

The former state senator appeared Monday at a Detroit Labor Council rally.

Introducing the nation’s chief executive, Teamsters President James Hoffa Jr. appealed for union members to follow Obama’s campaign promise to shun harsh partisanship and to reason and work together with political opponents such as the ‘tea party’ to build a better America for everyone.

Well, no, actually Hoffa didn’t do that. He said many things about the tea party. But here’s the Hoffa action sentence:


‘Let’s take these sons of bitches out and give America back to an America where we belong.’

Tea Party Express chairwoman Amy Kremer said Hoffa’s ‘inexcusable’ and ‘inappropriate and uncivil rhetoric’ amount to ‘a call for violence on peaceful tea party members, which include many Teamster members.’

ABC News’ Jake Tapper and Mary Bruce asked for White House comment. You will be shocked to learn that presidential spokesmen declined to comment on the union president’s call to take out tea party people, presumably not in a social dating sense.

This comes about two weeks after Joe Biden called tea party people ‘terrorists’ and the same day he called them ‘barbarians’ in a Cincinnati labor speech.

The new ABC News poll also revealed that a record 62% of respondents say they disapprove of Obama’s work on the economy. In a measure of intensity that analysts called ‘striking,’ nearly half the respondents (47%) said they ‘strongly’ disapprove of Obama’s performance, while barely 15% strongly approve.

Usually when Obama gets in trouble like this, the Real Good Talker does two things: He schedules a round of fundraisers to hear the paying crowds cheer (‘Thank you. Thank you. Be seated.’) and he announces a ‘major speech’ to fix things up. Oh, look! He’s scheduled a major speech for Thursday night to talk about a jobs plan after 961 days in office.


Since all his other jobs speeches in recent months haven’t worked, maybe one more will.

You know, how Obama inherited a huge economic hole and how he knows the recovery is insufficient (or nonexistent, depending on your employment status) and how he really wants Congress to finally get off its collective duff and do something about the problem that he and Joe said was fixed two years ago. Especially those pesky Republicans who didn’t control either house back then.

In Detroit Monday, a tieless Obama warned Republicans, who were not numerous in the crowd, that if the GOP didn’t accept the new job and spending ideas that he hasn’t detailed yet, he is going to take his case to the American people.

Judging by the steady decline in Obama’s job approval all summer and his pathetic numbers in this latest poll, Republicans can only hope that the Democrat carries through on that threat.


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-- Andrew Malcolm

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Upper photo: President Obama at a Labor Day rally in Detroit.

Lower photo: Teamsters President James Hoffa Jr. at the Labor Day rally. Credit: Bill Pugliano / Getty Images