Zogby Report Card: Obama stuck at 44% approval, despite big events

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Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets,Jobs,Army,Veterans Affairs,Obama Report Card,John Zogby,Foreign Policy,Unemployment,Eric Shinseki

Pollster John Zogby reports in our weekly White House report card that despite unveiling a shift in foreign policy in a West Point speech and the week-ending resignation of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki, President Obama remains stuck at 44 percent approval. He also reveals how he determines the president's weekly grade.

"Let me explain how I do this. I start with available numbers and assess impacts. So I start with polling on the president. The national average is 44 percent approval; Rasmussen, Gallup, and Zogby have him slightly higher. Not good numbers but also not crisis numbers.

“Then I look at national indicators. For example, the number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits this week is down considerably.

“I look at the news made by and about the president. In his speech to graduating Army officers at West Point, Mr. Obama didn't lay out a foreign policy doctrine so much as he explained what is as plain as the noses on our faces: there are limits to U.S. military power. That doesn't mean we are weak; it simply means that, in the words of Mick Jagger, ‘You can't always get what you want.’ The public is tired; the risks of military involvement are high; and the consequences can be worse than if we don't use force.

“The Veterans Administration mess is disgusting and reprehensible and Secretary Eric Shinseki has resigned. But the president and Congress still have to clean this up -- they both agree on that.

“With that said, the president's numbers are still at 44 percent. Readers of the Report Card know that I am not afraid to give an F grade, nor do I fear giving an A."

Grade -- C-

Zogby is the senior analyst for Zogby Analytics and author (with Joan Snyder Kuhl) of "The First Globals: Understanding, Managing, and Unleashing our Millennial Generation."

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at