Obama The Divider

Obama said he would unite this country. Well, he isn’t, according to Pew Researh Center. In fact, Obama has the widest partisan gap in his approval ratings of any president in the modern era.

For all of his hopes about bipartisanship, Barack Obama has the most polarized early job approval ratings of any president in the past four decades. The 61-point partisan gap in opinions about Obama’s job performance is the result of a combination of high Democratic ratings for the president — 88% job approval among Democrats — and relatively low approval ratings among Republicans (27%).

By comparison, there was a somewhat smaller 51-point partisan gap in views of George W. Bush’s job performance in April 2001, a few months into his first term. At that time, Republican enthusiasm for Bush was comparable to how Democrats feel about Obama today, but there was substantially less criticism from members of the opposition party. Among Democrats, 36% approved of Bush’s job performance in April 2001; that compares with a 27% job approval rating for Obama among Republicans today.

The partisan gap in Bill Clinton’s early days was also substantially smaller than what Obama faces, largely because Democrats were less enthusiastic about Clinton. In early April 1993, 71% of Democrats approved of Clinton’s job performance, which is 17 points lower than Obama’s current job approval among Democrats. Republican ratings of Clinton at that point (26%) are comparable to their current ratings of Obama today (27%). 

I am sure the left will blame Republicans for not drinking the Obama Kool-Aid, but Obama is the one who has no record of genuine bipartisanship, and so far, he has done nothing substantive to reach out to Republicans. In fact he is using fear to push through a terrible budget and is already expanding to role of government in scary socialism-like ways.

While the partisan divide is part of a long term trend, Obama was the one claiming he’d be the one to end all that and bring this country together. Of course, he spent the whole of his campaign being as partisan as anyone could be, so this really doesn’t shock me at all.