Panic time for the White House

Does it get any worse than this for President Obama?

The first Gallup poll out since the president's make-or-break jobs speech show only 45 percent of Americans approve of his jobs bill and still there isn't much faith it will actually help the economy. How about the reaction of Democratic lawmakers like Sens. Bob Casey Jr. of Pennsylvania, Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, who already complained about it on the record? And notice Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) isn't rushing to schedule it for a vote on the Senate floor, which he controls.

Then the Democrats lose former Rep. Anthony Weiner's seat Tuesday in a Democratic stronghold in New York's 9th district in Queens. Badly. By eight points. It was a referendum on President Obama and proved that disappointment, frustration and anger Democrats feel toward Obama go well beyond the troubled economy to Israel and other issues.

On Wednesday the House held a hearing into the collapse of Solyndra, the too-tight-with-the-administration solar panel company floated a $535 million loan guarantee from the Department of Energy before going belly-up. It is nothing short of a public-relations disaster for the White House.

Thursday things plunged into newly treacherous territory for the president. James Carville, Democratic strategist and loyalist through and through, felt the need to come out in a CNN op-ed and tell the White House, and the rest of the world, that it's time for Team Obama to panic. Literally. "The time has come to demand a plan of action that requires a complete change from the direction you are headed," wrote Carville. "It's not going to work with the same team, the same strategy, and the same excuses."

Perhaps if President Obama had received Carville's warning on Wednesday, he would have stopped himself before a crowd in North Carolina from exhorting, "If you love me, you've got to help me pass this bill." He is the president of the United States and right now only his family and friends — and not one remaining Democratic constituency group — loves him.

It won't be possible to turn things around if the president and his team don't grasp how untethered they are from the country right now.


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