Obama – Reputation Superstar?

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Two days after Barack Obama took office on January 20, 2009, his approval rating was 69. That seems like a pretty solid approval rating, considering the country was in the midst of an economic crisis. From there, it’s declined and is now leveling out, possibly even heading towards an upswing.

Data released in a CBS News/New York Times poll yesterday indicate that Obama’s approval rating has risen to 51 percent, due to perceived improvement in the U.S. economy. According to the report, ratings have recovered from the beginning of last month, when Obama’s approval rating hit an all-time low of 44 percent.

CBS, New York Times Poll, Obama reputation

(Credit: CBS) CBS News Poll analysis by the CBS News Polling Unit

When George W. Bush took office in January 2001, his approval rating peaked at 90 (see historical comparison of presidential approval ratings). According to multiple sources, a September 2008 poll recorded Bush’s approval rating as 19 percent, a record low for any sitting U.S. President. Bush’s reputation (and the Republican Party’s reputation) couldn’t sustain the economic downturn, despite Bush once having the highest approval rating of any president since Roosevelt, according to Gallup polls.

Is Obama’s reputation strong enough for him to draw against it in order to push through his agenda on controversial issues like nationalized healthcare and ending the war in Iraq? Will it be strong enough to put the Democratic Party in a good position to contend for the White House in 2012? Let me know what you think.

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