Day: May 31, 2009

Obama As Compared To Other Presidents In Approval Rating

Barack Obama comes out in the latest Gallup poll as having the fourth highest rating of presidents since Eisenhower after four months in office,  not counting Lyndon Johnson and Gerald Ford, who came in by succession to the White House.

His rating is 65 percent, behind Kennedy (77),  Eisenhower (74) and Reagan (68).  He is tied with Carter (65), and ahead of Nixon (63) and George HW Bush (60).  George W Bush’s rating was 55 and Bill Clinton the lowest at 45.

This puts Obama in a good position, but realize that Carter,  Nixon and George HW Bush all were ultimately seen as failures in different ways in the Presidency, with Carter and Bush losing re-election and Nixon being forced out of office, while Bill Clinton and George W Bush finished their terms and Clinton, at least, is often seen as moderately successful in office, particularly in the latest C-Span poll of Presidents. 

Meanwhile Kennedy, Eisenhower and Reagan are all rated now among the top ten Presidents,  and have always been wildly popular among the general public, if not always with scholars.  So these early ratings may not matter much for Obama in the long run.

Finally, A Conclusion to the Minnesota Senate Race?

On Monday, a full seven months after the election  and five months after the beginning of Congress’s new term, the Minnesota Supreme Court of five members will hear arguments on whether problems with absentee ballots justify reversing the 312 vote lead of Al Franken over Norm Coleman for the Senate seat.

If the Minnesota Court decides that it will uphold the lower courts in their decision that Franken has won the seat, FINALLY there may be a conclusion to the longest Senate race in American history.  It also means on paper that the Democrats will have the 60 vote margin to prevent filibusters, at least in theory.

It is certainly long overdue that the people of Minnesota get their second senator and take the burden off the other Minnesota senator, Amy Klobuchar, who has been good spirited about trying to represent the whole state in the Senate all by herself.