Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Obama Honeymoon Off to Early Start

Gallup reports that the "honeymoon" in public opinion afforded a new president has already begun for Barack Obama, with a new poll finding two-thirds of Americans confident in the president-elect's abilities:

Between 63% and 67% of Americans have said they are confident in Barack Obama's ability to be a good president in the weeks since his election on Nov. 4, a sentiment that doesn't yet appear to be have been affected, positively or negatively, by news coverage of the president-elect's staff and Cabinet appointments, or by reports of his economic and other policy plans ....

Obama has apparently been given a honeymoon of sorts after his election, with a substantial majority of Americans (significantly higher than the percentage who voted for him) saying they are confident in his ability to be a good president. This positive sentiment has persisted to date even as reports of possible and actual Obama appointments have dominated news coverage of the nascent Obama administration.

Obama's challenge will be to continue this good will for the roughly two months left before his inauguration, and then to translate it into public support as he begins his duties as chief executive next Jan. 20. Gallup will continue to track and report Americans' views of their newly elected president between now and then.
A honeymoon is just that: An emotional outpouring that tends to dissipate over time. The election showed politics to be deeply polarized across the parties, so we'll see a return to the patterns of the last few years by the end of 2009.

Yet, I expect Obama to have a longer honeymoon than is the norm (the first "100 days" is a benchmark).

While the economy continues its long shakeout, Americans will be looking to Washington to restore pride and confidence in the nation and its institutions. The office of the presidency is the natural beneficiary of such sentiment. The challenge for Obama will be not to stoke unreasonable expectations while simultaneously achieving some significant policy successes.


Righty64 said...

Please, this "honeymoon" business will fade as the economy worsens. The Keynesian "solutions" that President-elect Obama is proposing is going to lead the United States into the gory days of the Jimmah Carter era. And, while gas and oil prices are falling, wait until there are SHORTAGES and some scheme like the odd/even days return. I think it was Kate O'Beirne who was said that we need to elect Democrats every now and then to remind us of how bad things can get. Hope and change. Hope and change, baby!