Obama: The Dems' Best Weapon

Obama's (political) death may be exaggerated

By Robert A. George
|  Thursday, Oct 7, 2010  |  Updated 1:56 PM CDT
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Obama: The Dems' Best Weapon

Getty Images for Meet the Press

President Obama will be hard to miss on Sunday morning, when he appears on four news shows.

This weekend, President Obama goes for the Sunday talk-show equivalent of the all-out blitz.

He'll do the Big 3 Sunday morning shows,  "Meet The Press," "Face The Nation"and "This Week." He'll even appear on CNN's "State of the Nation" and Spanish-language Univision. Okay, he's not doing FOX News Sunday, but if you do miss him over the weekend, you can catch the president Monday night on "Late Show with David Letterman."

Democrats are getting pummeled on health care and are in full retreat from their left-wing allies ACORN. Obama's overall job approval has suffered since taking office, down from 70% in the heady early days -- to around 50% now. It's fair to wonder if Obama, who has given over 100 interviews since taking office, is being overexposed.

It isn't the first time the "overexposure" question has been posed.  George Will posed it six weeks into the Obama presidency. And a few others piled on too.  And the question was even addressed in this space.

But there's one good reason why the White House is willing to get Obama out there again and again:  He's simply the Democrats' best salesman on health care and a host of other issue that Democrats can deploy.  A Pew Research poll released Thursday underscores the fact.  Despite the falling job approval numbers, Obama's personal characteristics remain remarkably strong with the public.

Yes, there has been erosion after eight months of often brutal partisan debate. But the public view of Obama on all but one of a series of personal attributes -- "strong leader," "well-organized," "trustworthy," etc., are in the 60s at least.  Even the one outlier, "Is able to get things done," registers at 58%. That's a good foundation for a president still trying to make a sale. If his personal qualities had collapsed along with his job approval, the public would immediately tune him out wherever he appeared. The fact the public still likes Obama gives him an enormous amount of power to keep impacting the debate.  

One side note: That continuing good will also explains why the White House refuses to be drawn into the "racism" debate. If Obama gave any credence to the claims of Jimmy Carter and others that criticism of him is race-based, those personal attribute numbers would fade.  After all, if racism remained such a factor in public antipathy toward Obama, why would 64% of Americans still consider him "trustworthy?"

When you watch the president on TV this weekend, remember: Your best salesman is only overexposed when the customers don't believe him or want what he's selling. The White House doesn't believe Obama has reached that point.  

New York writer Robert A. George blogs at Ragged Thots. Follow him on Twitter. 

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