WaPo Buries News of How Obama's Ratings Are Dropping Due to Debt Ceiling Deadlock

Well, the Washington Post reported it, but it was in the 21st paragraph of a 24-paragraph story on page A11, in an article entitled "White House is divided on how to portray Obama," no less:

New polling numbers suggest that voters have been unimpressed with Obama’s performance — with his once-sizable reelection advantage evaporating in a matter of weeks.

A survey published this week by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press finds that 41 percent of voters want to see Obama reelected next year, compared with 40 percent who favor a Republican. In May, Obama led by 11 points, 48 to 37. The explanation: The number of independents wanting an Obama victory fell from 42 percent in May to 31 percent now.

While the media have been doing their level best to lower the public's approval for conservatives and to sell the public on the notion that President Obama is the grown-up in Washington, the debt ceiling deadlock is souring Americas on the president, particularly self-described independents who would be a crucial voting bloc in 2012.

But leave it to the Post to bury that lede. Here's how staffers Peter Wallsten and David Nakamura opened their July 30 article, charitably papering over conflicting spins from the White House:

President Obama has been “getting absolutely no sleep” amid tireless work on the debt-ceiling crisis, according to senior aide Valerie Jarrett. No, countered press secretary Jay Carney, the president seemed “well rested and very focused.”

The apparent contradiction illustrated the White House choice as the budget battle with Congress nears its climax: whether to present Obama as a central player asserting his power to craft a deal, or as an above-the-fray observer waiting for a polarized Congress to do its job.


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