Obama: Love me!

Alas, that love, so gentle in his view/ Should be so tyrannous and rough in proof!
—William Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, Act 1, Scene 1


It’s gotta hurt. President Obama now sports the lowest approval numbers in California since becoming president, where less than half — only 46 percent — approve — an eight-point drop since June, according to a new Field poll. Fifty-four percent disapprove of Obama’s handling of the economy. He’s starting to lose seniors and African-Americans, along with Democrats and Independents. Unemployment in California is at 12 percent, three points higher than the rest of the nation. When a lefty president is on shaky ground in California, you know he’s in trouble. Despite his failures on multiple fronts, Californians still seem to like Obama personally, however, to the tune of 55 percent.

Perhaps that’s why he is making the impassioned plea for support for his tax hikes/jobs bill a personal matter, imploring supporters for help, saying at a North Carolina rally this week, "If you love me, you’ve got to help me pass this bill!” (This sounds suspiciously similar to an equally urgent line young teenage girls are warned about emanating from young teenage boys.)

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Opposite the Left Coast in the Northeast Democratic stronghold of New York City, the GOP just dominated a special election for a seat Democrats comfortably held for nearly a century, with analysts across the political spectrum recognizing it as a referendum on Obama. Republican Bob Turner’s landslide victory over Democrat David Weprin in the 9th congressional district, where Democrats have a 3-to-1 registration advantage over Republicans, is difficult to spin as anything other than a harsh rebuke of the president. The loss of the 40 percent Jewish congressional district has sent the Obama White House scrambling, worried this historically reliably Democratic constituency will be somewhat less reliable nationally in the 2012 elections. Obama’s call for a return to 1967 lines for Israel and not refusing flat-out to negotiate with Hamas is costing him big in the Jewish community.

Reports the White House is in a panic over the ominous message on Obama’s vulnerability among Jewish voters and is feverishly working to devise a strategy to win back the love indicate a possible wavering on its strategy that has appeared to consist of calling anyone who opposes Obama “racist,” combined with improving Democrats’ electoral prospects by showcasing the president’s winning personality. Race-baiting while selling one’s self as a nice guy simply doesn’t make for a congruent courtship. Neither does going squishy on Israel.

The next surprise hurdle for Democrats might be the result of proposed tax hikes on people making at least $200,000 per year, down from Obama’s previous definition of “the rich,” who should be taxed more heavily at $250,000 annually. $200,000 isn’t rich. But it does place one in the all-important consumer class. In one fell swoop of classic desperation and class warfare, Obama and the Democrats could squash the one earning class of Americans who still can feed this economy and keep it from sputtering. Consumer spending is crucial to a healthy economy, yet the president is poised to lower the boom.

President Obama wants voters to show him some love, even as taxpayers are getting jilted and stuck with the $535 million tab the president gave to Solyndra, a solar energy company he embraced for federal help despite warnings from the Bush administration and his own aides the company was “not ready for prime time,” as advised in an internal email among Obama staff that was subpoenaed by Congress. Now Solyndra is tanking. The company’s CEO, as it turns out, raised $100,000 for the Obama presidential campaign, but the White House is denying the lipstick on its collar despite Obama “wingman” and then-White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel apparently using his position to pressure fast-tracking the federal loan just days after Barack Obama took the oath of office. What appears to be a “sweetheart” deal would be the polar opposite of what candidate Obama promised when wooing voters in his 2008 presidential campaign. In fact, he specifically and emphatically promised he would not favor special interests over the rest of us. He promised we could trust him. Only six days into his presidency, he broke that vow.

For President Obama, love means never having to say you’re sorry.


Jacobus, president of Capitol Strategies PR, has managed congressional campaigns, worked on Capitol Hill and is an adjunct professor at George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management. She appears on CNN, MSNBC and FOX News as a GOP strategist.