This is quickly becoming Obama's summer of discontent.
On Friday, the perilously liberal Newsweek columnist Eleanor Clift offered readers a shockingly dour piece about the state of the current White House resident's reelection campaign titled "In Focus Group, Independent Voters Souring on Obama":
How tough an uphill climb does President Obama face with independent voters?
If the findings of a focus group conducted this week are any indication, a steep one indeed.
Clift then shared with readers some findings from Democrat pollster Peter Hart's recent study in Denver, Colorado.
First, it's clear Obama's attacks on Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's time at private equity firm Bain Capital aren't working.
But according to Clift, it's far worse than that for Obama:
They generally agree that the economy is improving, but Obama doesn’t get credit for a recovery that, while slow, is moving in the right direction—the core of his message for a second term. A few cited what they called “little things” Obama has done for the economy, like reining in credit-card companies, but no one could cite major accomplishments that would measure up to the expectations aroused by Obama as a candidate who promised to bring about transformative change.
All of this inconvenient truth coming from one of the most liberal columnists in the country not working for the Nation magazine. She even offered a tip for Obama's opponent:
There’s an opening, too, for Romney if he can build on the general impression voters have of him as a good businessman, and “make voters feel comfortable that he’s not going to dismantle everything we have,” says Hart, when it comes to health care and other social support programs.
Asked how each [candidate] would perform if they were lost in the forest with nine friends, the group concluded Romney would use his super-duper expensive phone to call for help, with Donald Trump and wife Ann Romney topping the call list, while Obama would give a pep talk and then retreat to the sidelines. There’s the campaign in a microcosm.
For Obama, this was a devastating departure from how voters responded to a similar question four years ago, when they said then candidate Obama would work with you, reason with you, and bring out the best in you. This time, says Hart, there was “no sense of leadership.” These are hard-nosed assessments five months out from the election, and the Obama campaign ignores them at its peril. Hart is a highly respected pollster with four decades of experience. Soft-spoken and generally cautious in his conclusions, people pay attention when he sounds the alarm.
To be sure, this is by no means Clift giving up on Hope and Change.
Instead, one gets the sense that many unashamedly liberal commentators like her are deeply concerned their Messiah might not win in November, and they're offering such opinions to help him get through this obvious rough patch.
The hard part for them is giving this kind of advice without increasing the angst their liberal readers are feeling.
Regardless of the challenge, it's nice to see someone so devoted to Democrats and leftwing policies offering some rare balance.
It of course is a metaphysical certitude she'll be tacking aggressively to the left next week to prevent a decline in her readership.
Liberals need the truth administered to them in very small, infrequent doses.
— Noel Sheppard (@NoelSheppard) June 9, 2012