President Obama is in Europe this week for the first time in two years. He begins in Northern Ireland today and returns to the U.S. on Thursday.
And what a difference time makes. In 2008, Obama was lauded on a rockstar-like tour of Europe on the way to the White House for the first time. Now, he faces questions at every turn. His inaction on Syria has frustrated France and Germany and the recent NSA scandal has irritated Germany’s Angela Merkel. It’s gotten so bad that Europeans are starting to see him as George W. Bush. The horror!
[T]he French newspaper Le Monde headlined an article this month about the NSA’s surveillance programs: “George W. Obama and National Security.”
But it’s not just abroad that Obama is losing his former glory. Here in the U.S. the president’s approval rating has dropped to 45%, according to a CNN poll. That’s his lowest point in a year and a half:
“The drop in Obama’s support is fueled by a dramatic 17-point decline over the past month among people under 30, who, along with black Americans, had been the most loyal part of the Obama coalition,” says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.
The president also dropped 10 points among independent voters, from 47% last month to 37% now, with his disapproval rating among independents jumping 12 points to 61%.
This comes as no surprise in the wake of so many scandals and questionable decisions from a president who promised a new brand of politics. Young people in particular are likely to feel betrayed. That won’t disappear quickly. Despite promising change, this administration looks more and more like that of George W. Bush, especially in terms of popular opinion.