ChrisWeigant.com

Obama Poll Watch -- June, 2010

[ Posted Wednesday, July 7th, 2010 – 15:29 PDT ]

Inching back down again

To begin with, a slight apology for taking a full week to get the monthly Obama Poll Watch column done. Last Wednesday was the end of the month, so the data weren't yet complete, Fridays are "Friday Talking Points" days, and Monday was a holiday. So here we are, one week later, taking a look back at President Obama's poll numbers for June. Apologies for the delay, and also for the fact that this will be a shorter-than-normal look at Obama's poll numbers this month.

Obama, after gaining a bit in his average approval ratings in May, slipped back in June. But the reversal was slight, continuing a five-month streak of amazingly stable numbers. Since February, Obama's approval rating has stayed within one half of one percentage point, which is pretty remarkable. Unfortunately, this trend may be at an end, and his numbers may be headed even further downwards in July.

But before we get into speculation about what it all means, here is the updated graph of Obama's average monthly approval numbers:

Obama Approval -- May 2010

[Click on graph to see larger-scale version.]

June, 2010

June saw a complete reversal of the slight gains Obama's poll numbers made in May, with his approval number going back down to slightly less than where it had been, and his disapproval number going back up to slightly more than where it had been. Obama charted new highs for both monthly and daily disapproval, and (in the only piece of good news this month) he charted a new low in monthly approval -- but managed not to chart a new low in daily approval.

In other words, it wasn't a great month for the president, as far as the populace was concerned. However, to put things in some perspective, the relative movement in the graph wasn't anywhere near the worst change in a single month that Obama has yet seen. But we'll get to the actual numbers in a moment.

June was somewhat of a mixed month for the president, in terms of what was happening on the political scene. The primaries are rolling along, and we are getting closer and closer to the midterm congressional general election. The economic numbers which just came out weren't great, but also weren't nearly as bad as the media tried to paint them (compare just about any of the recent numbers with the numbers Obama faced on his first day in office, for some needed perspective which the media loves to ignore, for instance). But, even having said that, the numbers were nothing to stand up and cheer about, especially for Democrats who would dearly love to do just that out on the campaign trail.

Elena Kagan, President Obama's second nominee to the Supreme Court, had hearings in the Senate; but even though it is an election year and such hearings are usually fodder for the "out" party to play to their political base, the whole Kabuki theater seemed a bit subdued this time around. Justice Sotomayor's hearings, in comparison, were a lot more contentious. I'm not exactly sure why the Republicans were so half-hearted in their attempts to portray Elena Kagan as the reincarnation of Karl Marx (as is par for the course, for Republicans), but the whole thing seemed pretty low-key, at least from where this intrepid reporter sits.

The Iraq withdrawal has begun in earnest, and the American troop presence in the country is now below 80,000 troops, and on schedule to hit 50,000 by the end of August, just as Obama promised right after he entered office. Sadly, this news is being largely ignored, although a minor spotlight was shone on the subject when Vice President Biden recently visited the country. As the troop withdrawal accelerates, perhaps Obama will reap some slight benefit politically for both keeping his word, and for our brave men and women coming home to their families. But this may not happen until August, so we'll see. It may not happen at all, if the media continues to ignore it, though.

Most of the reason why the Iraq news took a back seat this month was due to Obama's firing of his key general in Afghanistan (who mouthed off to the media, which is a big no-no in the military), and replacing him with the one man Republicans couldn't complain about in any way, shape, or form. While this was politically (and possibly militarily, although I'm not truly qualified to judge) a brilliant move by Obama, it followed the storm of controversy which erupted after Rolling Stone ran their interview. The whole crisis -- notably -- took place at blinding speed, both on the normal Washington pace of things, and (sadly) on the normal Obama pace of things.

But the biggest damage to the president this month actually started at the end of last month, a downward slide in his poll numbers due to the fact that BP's oil well is still spewing millions of gallons of crude into the Gulf of Mexico. Obama did do himself some good (except from Republicans who apologized to BP for Obama's leadership in the crisis) by getting BP to agree -- with nothing to back Obama up but public opinion -- to set aside the whopping sum of 20 billion dollars for a restitution fund which will be administered not by BP but by an independent overseer.

This was a pretty impressive accomplishment by the president, but it was diminished in the public's eye by the fact that it came a bit late on the crisis' timeline, and by the fact that pretty much nobody in the media was happy with the speech Obama gave announcing it. Now, personally, I thought it was a pretty good speech, but pundits on the left and right panned it almost universally (although for different reasons, of course). With so much negative reaction to the speech, it's no wonder that it didn't do the president much good in the polls.

Of course, nothing is going to do the president (or BP, for that matter) much good with the public until the damn hole is plugged. Which BP says won't happen until August, but I've always been suspicious that this date was intentionally pushed out about a month, so that when they do complete the relief well, they can pat themselves on the back for doing it "ahead of schedule." What this means is that if the well is capped some time in July, Obama may benefit from a slight bump upwards in the polls. If it doesn't happen until August, then Obama will likely continue his slide next month.

Getting a financial reform bill out of the Senate and on Obama's desk to sign may also help him in July, I should add. But the public at large doesn't seem too preoccupied with this bill (as opposed to, say, the healthcare reform effort), so I can't really say whether signing such a bill will do much for Obama in the polling. It will be portrayed as a political victory, but it may help Democrats in November more than it helps Obama this month. We'll see.

Getting to the numbers, in June Obama's monthly approval rating fell one half of one point, losing the three-tenths-point gain he made last month. For the month, Obama clocked in at a monthly average of 47.6 percent, down from 48.1 percent in May. Every monthly approval number for Obama since the end of January has fallen within this May-June range, it's worth pointing out. Obama's monthly disapproval rating also swung back from the gains he made last month. For June, Obama's disapproval was up 1.2 percentage points, to 46.7 percent. This reversed the one-point gain he made in May. Once again, from the end of January until now, Obama's monthly disapproval numbers have all fallen within this range, showing remarkable stability over a five-month period.

 

Overall Trends

The bad news, of course, is that Obama charted three out of four all-time highs or lows this month. Obama had his worst month ever for monthly approval, monthly disapproval, and daily disapproval; but he managed to stay at least a half a percent above his worst daily approval number, set two months ago.

Obama's daily approval numbers hovered pretty close to where he ended May for most of June. The problem with this was that he had ended May on a bit of a down note for the month. June actually resembled May in this regard, as Obama's daily approval hit a high of 48.4 percent two-thirds of the way through the month, but then ended the month on a low of 46.6 percent. About the only good thing you can say about this is that it was higher than his all-time low of 46.1 percent, set back in April.

Obama's daily disapproval numbers began the month at a fairly low point, and stayed there throughout the first half of the month (repeatedly hitting a low of 45.9 percent), but then rose sharply mid-month to hit an all-time high of 48.0 percent. This also meant -- for the third time in four months -- that for a short period of a few days, Obama's daily disapproval numbers were higher than his daily approval numbers. Even looking at the monthly graph above, you can easily see how close Obama is getting to slipping into a net negative when approval and disapproval numbers are compared side-by-side. The good news for Obama on the daily disapproval numbers, though, was that after reaching a peak mid-month, they have fallen back to pretty much where they started the month, at 46.5 percent.

Looking forward (I first have to admit that I can cheat a bit since it's already the seventh of the month...), Obama is on a slight downward trend for his approval numbers, but his disapproval numbers are actually staying somewhat stable. This is interesting, because it shows a higher "undecided" number than in the past few months. Meaning that some folks may be momentarily disaffected with the way Obama's doing his job, but also could return to the fold if there is some good news in July (on the oil cleanup, perhaps). It's always easier to get back people who have just moved to the undecided column than it is to get back people from the disapproval column, in other words.

July, once Congress gets back from yet another of their weeks off, could actually score the president some legislative victories. Wall Street reform has emerged from the House/Senate conference committee, and has already made it through the House. The "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy may be officially disavowed by Congress as well this month. Elena Kagan will likely win her confirmation vote.

The biggest good news, though, will be from the Gulf, if it comes in July. At this point, nothing would help America feel a little bit better about Obama than stopping the volcano of oil spewing out of BP's well. But even if this happens this month, it may happen at the very end -- meaning, in our monthly averages, any poll bounce won't show up much until August. In other words, look for another bad month for Obama in July. Sorry to be pessimistic, but that's how I see things at this point.

 

Obama v. Truman

Once again, my apologies here, because the charts just aren't ready for our next step on our path of looking backwards at previous presidents' approval ratings in comparison to Barack Obama's. The charts for Truman were harder to put together, because the data are so spotty. Up until now, I've been able to sort of massage the numbers a little in order to come up with an accurate chart which shows a clear line of presidential approval ratings, even if there have been a few gaps in the record. But with Truman, so many months of data are missing that the chart is mostly one of dots, instead of lines, making it very difficult to read.

I am working on the problem, but it will require a lot of fiddling with the program I use to create the charts, to make Harry S Truman's poll data meaningful. So, while I may get them up at some point during the month, we'll have to wait until next month to talk about them.

We're almost done, I should mention, with this entire exercise, since modern polling pretty much began under President Franklin D. Roosevelt's time in office. But Truman, and F.D.R., will have to wait for another month -- sorry about that.

 

[Obama Poll Watch Data:]

Column Archives

[May 10], [Apr 10], [Mar 10], [Feb 10], [Jan 10], [Dec 09], [Nov 09], [Oct 09], [Sep 09], [Aug 09], [Jul 09], [Jun 09], [May 09], [Apr 09], [Mar 09]

 

Obama's All-Time Statistics

Monthly
Highest Monthly Approval -- 2/09 -- 63.4%
Lowest Monthly Approval -- 6/10 -- 47.6%

Highest Monthly Disapproval -- 6/10 -- 46.7%
Lowest Monthly Disapproval -- 1/09 -- 19.6%

Daily
Highest Daily Approval -- 2/15/09 -- 65.5%
Lowest Daily Approval -- 4/11/10 -- 46.1%

Highest Daily Disapproval -- 6/18/10 -- 48.0%
Lowest Daily Disapproval -- 1/29/09 -- 19.3%

 

Obama's Raw Monthly Data

[All-time high in bold, all-time low underlined.]

Month -- (Approval / Disapproval / Undecided)
06/10 -- 47.6 / 46.7 / 5.7
05/10 -- 48.1 / 45.5 / 6.4
04/10 -- 47.8 / 46.5 / 5.7
03/10 -- 48.1 / 46.4 / 5.5
02/10 -- 47.9 / 46.1 / 6.0
01/10 -- 49.2 / 45.3 / 5.5
12/09 -- 49.4 / 44.9 / 5.7
11/09 -- 51.1 / 43.5 / 5.4
10/09 -- 52.2 / 41.9 / 5.9
09/09 -- 52.7 / 42.0 / 5.3
08/09 -- 52.8 / 40.8 / 6.4
07/09 -- 56.4 / 38.1 / 5.5
06/09 -- 59.8 / 33.6 / 6.6
05/09 -- 61.4 / 31.6 / 7.0
04/09 -- 61.0 / 30.8 / 8.2
03/09 -- 60.9 / 29.9 / 9.2
02/09 -- 63.4 / 24.4 / 12.2
01/09 -- 63.1 / 19.6 / 17.3

 

Cross-posted at The Huffington Post

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

-- Chris Weigant

 

31 Comments on “Obama Poll Watch -- June, 2010”

  1. [1] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I could have waited a bit longer for this edition of OPW. From where I sit, there won't be any good news in July ... or August, or September ...

    A lot has to go right if BP is to be successful in plugging the hole(s) leaking God knows how many hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil per day. Their track record of successful operations during this crisis is not reassuring. We may have to face the possibility that this well cannot be repaired. What that means for 2012, I shudder to think.

    As for the president getting a bump from the Wall Street reform bill, I'm not putting any money on that, either. It's been my experience that most people see this bill as another big sellout to Wall Street and not an effort to reign them in. The president is a corporatist, don't you know, and he and his crack economic team are well on their way to ruining the country. Given that scenario, it's hard to see the harbinger of any good poll news there.

    The only hope I see in all of this is that Obama/Biden and crew will finally step up their communication game and start fighting back to correct the record of nonsense that continues to build up within the inept confines of the media and blogosphere.

    By the way, you are building up a very nice record here on President Obama that will set the gold standard when looking at these things in retrospect at the end of the second term of the Obama administration. There will be nothing out there that will even be worthy of comparison.

    I guess what I'm trying to say here is that your tireless efforts will be rewarded ... in another lifetime! :)

    Seriously, all of your hard work is very much appreciated ... even when the results are somewhat depressing.

  2. [2] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I can hardly wait for the fun to begin at the Huffington Post.

  3. [3] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Liz -

    Well, at least Obama forced BP to drill TWO relief wells, doubling their chances of having it work....

    I don't think Obama will get a bump on the Wall Street bill mostly because I don't think a lot of people outside the Beltway are paying all that much attention to it, one way or another. Sure, the left is calling the bill a sellout, and the right is calling it Armageddon (or whatever, haven't been keeping up, probably involves Karl Marx in one way or another...), but the majority of Americans, I think, barely even know it exists. That's just a gut feeling, though, I could be wrong.

    Oh, hey, Geithner was on PBS' "The News Hour" last night, only caught about half of it, but you should look up a transcript if interested. I think it was the lead-in segment to the show.

    You know, I originally started this column because of withdrawal symptoms from doing the "2008 Electoral Math" series of columns, but it has turned into a nice way to sum up each month as we pass it by, I have to admit.

    :-)

    -CW

  4. [4] 
    Michale wrote:

    While this was politically (and possibly militarily, although I'm not truly qualified to judge) a brilliant move by Obama,

    I am and it was.... :D

    with nothing to back Obama up but public opinion -- to set aside the whopping sum of 20 billion dollars for a restitution fund which will be administered not by BP but by an independent overseer.

    Let's keep this in perspective..

    A- Considering the damage already done and the all-but-assured damage still to come, 20 Billion is not "whopping" by any standard..

    B- It's not even 20 Billion. It's 5 Billion a year for 4 years. It's also interesting to note that the tally so far is at around 3-4 Billion. And we're just 1 month into the first year...

    C- Obama got NOTHING from BP that will hold BP to their agreement. There is nothing stopping BP from reneging on their "pledge" and telling Obama (and US, incidentally) "Frak off, we'll see you in court."

    Obama had a rare opportunity for some REAL leadership here. Unfortunately, he blew it. As he is wont to do.

    Liz,

    It's been my experience that most people see this bill as another big sellout to Wall Street and not an effort to reign them in.

    There's a reason for that...

    Because, for all intents and purposes, that is exactly what it is..

    It professes to help Main St but there is nothing in it that actually DOES that..

    I can hardly wait for the fun to begin at the Huffington Post.

    Yea, go ahead.. Rub it in.. :D

    In general, you can count on Obama's numbers going down and such a downward trend will accelerate.

    Why??

    As we come closer to Election Day, we will begin to hear more and more about the malfeasance of this administration. In particular, all the bad stuff of CrapCare (which is pretty much ALL of CrapCare) will be played up on the airwaves left and right and center...

    In short, we will hear over and over and over ad nasuem how bad the Democrats have governed the last 4 years.

    Of course, the Democrats will try and counter that by trying to seize on any and every gaffe, small or large, committed by the Right..

    But that will simply exacerbate the Democrats downward slide.

    I mean, seriously....

    RIGHT:
    "DEMOCRATS had 4 years to do something good for the country and all they did was run the country into the toilet!!!"

    The Democrats Response:
    "Yea, well... Rush Limbaugh made another racist remark!!!"

    It's really a no-brainer...

    Michale.....

  5. [5] 
    Michale wrote:

    I know you don't look at one poll to make your listing here, CW..... But there is one poll that definitely bears mentioning.

    The Gallup poll shows that Obama's Approval rating is down to 38% amongst the group that is VITAL to any political party.

    Independents...

    No Political Party can hope to have ANY kind of decent showing in elections without that one group...

    It's a bona fide fact that it's us Independents that decide ALL elections..

    Kinda makes me all warm and fuzzy... :D

    Obama, and by extension Democrats, don't seem to be doing too well with that all important group.

    I'm just sayin'........

    Michale.....

  6. [6] 
    Michale wrote:

    And so it begins....

    Hundreds Of Fishermen Missing Checks From BP
    BP Gives No Indication Of When Payments Resume

    http://www.wdsu.com/news/24178322/detail.html

    BP is a foreign company..

    What do they care what happens to Americans.

    A better case for Nationalization can't be made.

    Michale.....

  7. [7] 
    Michale wrote:

    MMMMOOOOOOWWWAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA :D

    Michale.......

  8. [8] 
    akadjian wrote:

    @Liz
    The president is a corporatist, don't you know, and he and his crack economic team are well on their way to ruining the country.

    I don't know if most people see it quite that way. Other than some liberal pundits (but that's their job). I certainly don't. Though I would like to see him fight harder to drive a progressive agenda.

    I think he could actually turn things around in terms of public opinion pretty quickly if he would talk more about his vision. And here's a thought ... maybe talk about how we could do even more if Republicans would help instead of being instant opposition.

    And I think he's starting to ...
    http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/politics/ap/obama-set-to-boost-democratic-senate-candidates-talk-jobs-in-missouri-nevada-98006374.html

    Some great quotes in that article:
    "We don't have to guess how the other party will govern because we're still living with the results from the last time they governed."

    He wants to make sure big corporations are "playing by the same rules" as small businesses.

  9. [9] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    David,

    That is reassuring. I guess the crowd at Huffington Post is not representative of the electorate at large. What a relief that is!

    And, on a lighter note ... I finally made it to Hamburg - last week - and on the flight home the captain was kind enough to inform us that we would be flying over the southern tip of Iceland. How deliciously appropriate, I thought. :)

  10. [10] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    You are not missing a thing at HP - except a lot of frustration. I've taken to expressing my frustration in no uncertain terms - but, it's almost out of my system and I'll soon be back to my normal friendly self ... maybe ...

  11. [11] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Chris,

    Thanks for the Geithner tip - I don't usually miss the PBS Newshour but I didn't see that one.

    I watched the video and was struck by something ... well, two things. First, I am losing faith in Jim Lehrer's journalistic capabilities.

    And, Geithner has a certain way about him that is not at all endearing to most people - of course, I'm not one of them! But, I can see how many people would find him aloof and less than empathetic. To which I would counter by asking why that should matter if he's doing an effective job - and he is - as treasury secretary.

    I would also say that if people would take the time to watch even one of the many congressional hearings he has testified before, they might see him in a different light. But, probably not.

    Anyway, thanks again for the heads up which is always very much appreciated! :)

  12. [12] 
    Michale wrote:

    I think he could actually turn things around in terms of public opinion pretty quickly if he would talk more about his vision. And here's a thought ... maybe talk about how we could do even more if Republicans would help instead of being instant opposition.

    Call me an optimist (no really, go ahead. It's OK.. :D) but I honestly believe that Republicans WOULD be more inclined to help if Obama and the Democrats would actually take seriously the ideas and issues that Republicans have.

    But, for Obama and the Democrats, their idea of bi-partisanship consists of, "We're the majority. It's our way or the highway. You can get on board with OUR plan or you can go pound salt."

    With an attitude like that, do you wonder WHY the Republicans are so obstructionist??

    The dynamic we have here at CW.com is a perfect example of this..

    I have been told time and time again how I run roughshod over everyone, how I am so forceful and arrogant, how with me, it's "my way or the highway".. While there may be SOME smidgen of truth to that :D ya'all have stated that it's because of this attitude of mine that ya'all are less inclined to debate the issues...

    Rather ironic, no?? In here, I am acting like the Democrats and ya'all are acting like the Republicans... :D

    So ya'all might have a little understanding on why the Republicans are so obstructionist and ya'all didn't even know it! :D

    Liz,

    You are not missing a thing at HP - except a lot of frustration. I've taken to expressing my frustration in no uncertain terms - but, it's almost out of my system and I'll soon be back to my normal friendly self ... maybe ...

    I popped in for a few over there. About 42 minutes worth. :D Got a few posts in and met a somewhat kindred soul over there.. Wish that Chris1962 could find their way over here!! :D

    By the bi... I am conversing with a "Liz" over at another Banter Wire blog. Would that be you, per chance??

    Michale.....

    [Chris Weigant responds:]

    Sorry for shoehorning in on your comment here, Michale, but my browser's acting up and doesn't want to let me reply from the main site (Bad browser! Bad! Bad!!!).

    I have passed along your invitation to Chris1962 in comments to my Wednesday column over at HuffPost. Oh, and for everyone's info, Chris is female (I run into this confusion all the time -- the price of having a gender-neutral name, I guess).

    -CW

  13. [13] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    Somehow I'm not surprised that you and Chris1962 are getting along famously. I've had some fun conversations with him, too ... as you might imagine. :)

    This is the only Banter Wire blog where you'll find me. But, I hope you're being nice. :)

  14. [14] 
    Michale wrote:

    This is the only Banter Wire blog where you'll find me. But, I hope you're being nice. :)

    You know me.. I follow Patrick Swayze's ROADHOUSE advice on being nice..

    "You be nice. Until it's time NOT to be nice."

    :D

    Michale.....

  15. [15] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Call me an optimist (no really, go ahead. It's OK.. :D) but I honestly believe that Republicans WOULD be more inclined to help if Obama and the Democrats would actually take seriously the ideas and issues that Republicans have.

    Could you give us one example of legislation where Obama has not compromised and taken a moderate path?

    He seems to be always trying to compromise (though I'm not sure what good this does him). It looks like this to me: Republicans propose a far right solution, Obama proposes a middle of the road compromise to win Republican support, Republicans say "he's not willing to take us seriously". Repeat.

    I can list countless Obama concessions to conservatives. But I can't think of any Republican compromises. If you know of any, feel free to list them.

    Republicans seem to be staking everything on generating anti-Obama sentiment. And hoping for big wins in the election.

    The "party of no" ... *sigh*

    ya'all have stated that it's because of this attitude of mine that ya'all are less inclined to debate the issues..

    We have?

    I think we've spent quite a bit of time debating. But maybe that's just me and because I like you and think it's fun to debate.

    Cheers
    David

  16. [16] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Liz,

    So glad you made it to Hamburg! The volcano has not been in the news much of late so I'm guessing it has quieted down.

    Were the Germans upset about their World Cup loss? Or, were you there before then? For the record, I think they had a great run this year.

    Someday I hope to spend some serious time cavorting about Europe so I have to say I'm a bit jealous :).

    Cheers
    David

  17. [17] 
    Michale wrote:

    David,

    We have?

    I think we've spent quite a bit of time debating. But maybe that's just me and because I like you and think it's fun to debate.

    I probably shouldn't have used such a broad brush..

    But there have been more than few instances where there has been... uh... some expression of frustrations, to put it kindly.. :D

    Michale.....

  18. [18] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    I popped in for a few over there. About 42 minutes worth. :D Got a few posts in and met a somewhat kindred soul over there.. Wish that Chris1962 could find their way over here!! :D
    - Michale

    Chris1962 has entered the stadium. 'D

    On the topic of "The Party of 'No'": Repubicans are saying "no" for good reason. The Tea Partiers are perched to "Bennett" them if they help Obama get his agenda through. They didn't send representatives to Washington to have them represent the other side. And the Republicans are listening. Here's a great example of it, right at the beginning of this video:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oqver_bf4Po&feature=related

  19. [19] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    Liz! One of my favorite posters at the HuffPo. How is Geithner treating you lately? I love your loyalty to him. 'D

  20. [20] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    David,

    Fortunately, I had just arrived back in Hamburg after a brief jaunt to Berlin when Germany won their quarter-final game.

    The streets in Hamburg were mayhem - car horns blasting from all directions and German flags of all shapes and sizes flying everywhere. On the ride back to my hotel, my taxi driver had one hand out the window waving his flag and the other on the wheel. I was just hoping we wouldn't kill anybody on the way!

    It was spectacular all around, needless to say.

  21. [21] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Chris1962,

    It's always fun chatting with you, too. :)

    As for the treasury secretary ... it's not loyalty. In fact, I didn't know who Geithner was before he was nominated as treasury secretary. It's just appreciation for a job well done. Besides, somebody has to defend him - he's taking fire from all sides, all the time and mostly from people who don't know the first thing about him or what he's been doing for the last couple of years.

    And, I haven't given up on bringing you into the fold - consider yourself forewarned! :)

  22. [22] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    Hahaha. You're gonna have your work cut out for you there, Liz, because for the life of me, I'm not seeing what you're seeing in terms of the Timothy Geithner success story. Enlighten me. I'm genuinely curious.

  23. [23] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    CB,

    Think back to the fall of 2008 when the entire financial system was teetering on the edge of an abyss. Check that ... think back to the fall of 2008 when the economy was in free-fall and spinning full into the abyss. That is not hyperbole. But, it is something that already seems to have been forgotten by most.

    Enter one Timothy Geithner, financial fire-fighter extraordinaire.

    Fast-forward to today. The economy is in a full-fledged recovery, my retirement savings are back to where they used to be a year and half ago plus a modestly healthy increase and on a positive trend.

    Is everything coming up roses? Absolutely, positively unequivocally NOT! But, neither is the economy tanking at a frightening rate.

    That's what I call a good start to a tremendous success story, thanks to the leadership and decisive action by the beleaguered treasury secretary. But, alas, the praise - not to mention the thanks of a grateful nation - will come, as per usual, in another lifetime.

  24. [24] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    Enter one Timothy Geithner, financial fire-fighter extraordinaire.

    Fast-forward to today. The economy is in a full-fledged recovery

    Wait, wait. Whoa... LOL. Exactly what did that little Geithner pup do that was so extraordinary? 'D

  25. [25] 
    Michale wrote:

    Fast-forward to today. The economy is in a full-fledged recovery, my retirement savings are back to where they used to be a year and half ago plus a modestly healthy increase and on a positive trend.

    Not wanting to gang up on Liz here, but I would also dispute the statement that the economy is in "full-fledged recovery".

    That *might* have been true a couple months ago... But the latest numbers out show that we're back on a downward spiral with the real possibility of a double-dip recession.

    And the latest projections are that things are going to get much worse in the months leading up to the mid-terms.

    I don't have to spell out for anyone what THAT means....

    Michale.....

  26. [26] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    CB,

    I'm afraid that if you want to have a civil discussion with me here about what the treasury secretary has achieved over the course of the last couple of years and more, then you will have to show a little more respect for people than demonstrated by your comment #24.

    Besides, have we not covered a lot of this ground already, in another time and place? Is your medium term memory really so short that you have forgotten where we were in the fall of 2008? Are your powers of observation so limited that you cannot see the substantial progress that has been made - thanks, in no small part, to the efforts of Secretary Geithner, a public servant who you would so effortlessly demean?

    I'm sorry, CB but I have officially run out of time for that sort of nonsense.

    A

  27. [27] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    Not wanting to gang up on Liz here, but I would also dispute the statement that the economy is in "full-fledged recovery.

    Hey, not to worry - I can take it! :)

    Oh, here's a new favourite quote I'd like to share with you ...

    "Be wary of the benefits of hindsight and be skeptical of the capacity for foresight." ... US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.

    Words to live by, if you ask me.

  28. [28] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    I'm afraid that if you want to have a civil discussion with me here about what the treasury secretary has achieved over the course of the last couple of years and more, then you will have to show a little more respect for people than demonstrated by your comment #24.

    Liz!!! I'm kidding!!! You had said something about feeling sorry for him, and feeling somebody had to defend him, and it reminded me of a wounded pup. I'm shocked by the level of offense you've taken. To me, he gets a look on his face like a wounded puppy every time he gets yelled at by Congress. I thought we had chuckled about that on the HuffPo board and was seeking to remind you of it.

    I don't share your admiration for Timothy Geithner. Far from it. I remember him as one of Clinton's economic team members, all of whom I hold personally responsible for having recklessly bamboozled Congress into deciding not to regulate OTC derivatives, based on their assurances that the first near-meltdown had been nothing more than some kind of quirky little anomaly. They, more than anyone in the country at the time, knew it wasn't, yet nevertheless fought hard to have the CFTC stripped of its regulatory authority, so as not to disrupt the swingin' economic boom. (Personally, I think behind that decision was also an effort to help keep Clinton in office, whose only saving grace at that time had been the booming economy.)

    And because of that reckless victory of theirs, the derivatives market was able to continue operating in complete secrecy, same as before, with no oversight whatsoever, until it had finally grown into a $600 TRILLION time bomb, by '08. That was the point at which the entire global economy nearly collapsed. And had Clinton's team not succeeded in thwarting regulation — and driving out of office the CFTC chairperson who trying to get the market regulated — that second near-meltdown would not have occurred.

    As for stopping the collapse, I also recall Geithner having put together a scheme, with his boss Berneke, to save Bear Stearns, but which backfired, instead, and ended up sealing Stearns's demise. Again, I was far from impressed with the financial fire-fighting extraordinaire.

    And so here we all are today (facing a double-dip recession, hello), with Geithner now on Obama's team and in the throes of conducting damage control, personally working the phones with the goal of somehow convincing Big Business (which is presently sitting on $1.8T in cash, patiently waiting for a decent business atmosphere to present itself) that Obama is not anti-business. A little late for that, in my personal opinion, but that's Timothy Geithner's new challenge; one at which I fully expect him to fail miserably.

    While I'm happy to hear that your 401K is looking healthier these days, Liz, I took a hit in 2008 that makes me physically nauseas to think about. So not only do I indeed fail to appreciate Geithner's public service to our great country, I personally feel he belongs behind bars. On what charge, I don't know, as I don't believe gross incompetence and reckless endangerment are prosecutable offenses. But as for the future of the global economy, I continue to perceive him as a menace, a threat, and as incompetent as the day is long.

    If I'm missing something brilliant about this man, I'm all ears, Liz. But if you're going to take that level of offense over a reference to him as a pup — like I had personally insulted a family member — perhaps we shouldn't pursue this discussion and look for something else to gab about. Lord knows this administration has certainly given us plenty of subjects to choose from. 'D

  29. [29] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Sorry about that CB ... don't know what come over me. I'm taking a break from all of this - as it is quite obvious that I desperately need one. :)

  30. [30] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    LOL. No sweat, Liz.

    A vacation from politics. We could all do with two weeks off a year. 'D

  31. [31] 
    Michale wrote:

    Liz,

    "Be wary of the benefits of hindsight and be skeptical of the capacity for foresight." ... US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.

    You know what that quote reminds me of? Especially in the context of who said it and why??

    "IGNORE THAT MAN BEHIND THE CURTAIN!!!"

    Michale32086

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