CHICAGO, February 17, 2013 , 2013 – President Obama’s poll numbers are hovering around 50% – Rasmussen Reports showing the president at a 51% approval while Gallup puts the president at a Polls put the President’s sinking approval still below 50%, due in large part, to the bungling of the Affordable Care Act roll out. For the President, it must be a bitter pill to swallow, even as he has distanced himself from 2014 mid-term democratic candidates.
The healthcare rollout was supposed to represent the President’s crowning achievement: a grand first step towards universal health coverage. But, instead, the healthcare.gov rollout has been a study in government lies, embarrassing website crashes and glitches, waste of millions in taxpayer dollars, mismanagement, cronyism, confusion, and utter despair.
Until the October 1st launch of healthcare.gov, struggling Americans trusted the President to make good on promises he made over and over again: If you like your healthcare plan, you can keep it. Unfortunately, the millions of Americans, who have since lost their healthcare coverage since October, naturally feel duped.
Trust in the President – both his credibility and his ability to lead – has evaporated. Trust in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has also plummeted. According to the CBS poll, 61% disapprove, and 46% strongly disapprove of the ACA.
The President’s low 37% approval rating also represents another embarrassing second-term milestone. According to Gallup, the President’s rating is less than just three percentage points from President Nixon’s second-term average of 34.4% (from January 1973 – August 1974.)
Historically, Nixon’s second term represents the epic fall of a President and the unraveling of the American people’s trust in their President.
After a landslide victory, President Nixon’s second term began with the conviction of former Nixon aides G. Gordon Liddy and James W. McCord Jr. on charges of conspiracy, burglary and wiretapping in the Watergate incident on January 30, 1973.
In May 1973, the Senate Watergate committee began national televised hearings and the Justice Department appointed a special prosecutor to investigate the Watergate burglary.
On November 17, Nixon declared that he was “not a crook,” maintaining his innocence to the American people.
But by July 27, 1974, the House Judiciary Committee had already passed the first of three impeachment articles, charging obstruction of justice.
In August of 1974, President Nixon became the first President to resign his office, the trust of the American people – by then – fully eroded.
And trust is critical the success of any President. President Nixon found lesson out the hard way.
Now so is President Obama.
William J. Kelly is an Emmy award-winning TV producer and conservative columnist. He is also a contributor to the American Spectator and Breitbart.com. He is a native from Chicago’s Southside.