POLITICS: White House

Five signs Obama is losing control

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Photo - Evan Vucci/AP
President Obama pauses while speaking in San Jose, Calif.
Evan Vucci/AP President Obama pauses while speaking in San Jose, Calif.
Beltway Confidential,White House,Barack Obama,Ashe Schow,Analysis

It is no secret that President Obama has taken quite the political hit amidst the plethora of scandals involving his administration. Obama's about as popular as George W. Bush was at this point in 2005, which is to say he is about as popular as a rug burn. With the hits piling up like a hoarder's collection of old newspapers, it's probably a good time to point out just how much control Obama's lost since re-election.

5. He can no longer sway the public

Just after re-election, Obama used the bully pulpit and recycled speeches to push for tax hikes on the wealthy. He won that battle. The next fight he took to the American people was over gun control, and despite a tragic shooting involving children, Obama couldn't get a law passed. It was an embarrassment for the president, and why he is now employing stealth tactics to control the immigration debate (wearing all black, tip-toeing around and traveling via air duct).

Even his Twitter account is fumbling. Referrals from the account are barely better than traffic from accounts with far fewer followers. Huffington Post's director of social media described the traffic from @BarackObama as "meh."

4. The Supreme Court could defeat him

The Supreme Court has announced it will decide whether Obama had the right to appoint members to the National Labor Relations Board without Senate confirmation. Turning over the recess appointments would call into question over 1,000 decisions made by the NLRB since the appointments. The decision would also cause collateral damage for Democrats who decried Bush's recess appointments and then flip-flopped under Obama. Because, Democrat, or something.

The Daily Beast points out that Obama has had a terrible year at the Supreme Court, winning just 37 percent of cases when past administrations have won around 70 percent. That's a pretty pitiful percentage, and even worse than when the U.S. filed as a "friend of the court" brief, where they won 44 percent of disputes. That means that letting other people fight their battles for them is better than the Obama administration fighting for themselves. They might as well just hire middle school bullies to fight their political battles for them.

3. His base is abandoning him

Last week at Netroots Nation, the progressive equivalent to CPAC, House minority leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., was booed when she tried to defend the Obama administration's surveillance programs. That particular scandal has irked many on the left who are apparently just now getting their voices back from screaming about surveillance under Bush.

Since the scandal broke, one of Obama's largest bases of support -- those aged 18-29 -- have abandoned the president in droves (read: not drones). His support for that group has dropped by 17 points over the past month, with many taking to popular mediums to denounce the president.

2. World leaders are shunning him

Around the world, leaders are nodding as Obama speaks, and then politely disregarding everything he says. China allowed whistleblower Edward Snowden to leave despite the Obama administration providing a warrant for his arrest. Russia said "nahhh" to the administration's request to expel Snowden. And if, as reported, Ecuador grants Snowden asylum, it would defy the US again, as it has already given WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange refuge in it's London embassy.

Beyond Snowden, Obama had to be dragged kicking and screaming into Syria. His "red line" had been crossed weeks ago, but it was only recently that he decided to arm Syrian rebels.

1. He's trying to change the subject

It is clear to at least the Business Insider that Obama's sudden decision to talk about climate change policy is an attempt to get the heat off the current scandals. Since it is clear that Obama broke his campaign pledge to end the surveillance programs that were started under Bush, it seems he is now trying to return to a campaign promise he long abandoned.

Obama intends to further regulate greenhouse-gas emissions from existing power plants, a move that has already caused coal-fired plants to shut down, with hundreds more on the way out.

Obama might as well be blaming oil and gas for NSA surveillance. No word yet on if Wall Street or the NRA were also involved.

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