NYTimes Poll: Obama Holds Americans' Confidence and Patience

President-elect Barack Obama will enter office on Tuesday with the American People strongly behind him and willing to give his efforts to fix the country time to work says a NYTimes poll:

President-elect Barack Obama is riding a powerful wave of optimism into the White House, with Americans confident he can turn the economy around but prepared to give him years to deal with the crush of problems he faces starting Tuesday, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News Poll.

Mr. Bush is leaving office with just 22 percent of Americans offering a favorable view of how he handled the eight years of his presidency, a record low, and firmly identified with the economic crisis Mr. Obama is inheriting. More than 80 percent of respondents said the nation was in worse shape today than it was five years ago. By contrast, 79 percent were optimistic about the next four years under Mr. Obama, a level of good will for a new chief executive that exceeds that measured for any of the past five incoming presidents.

Time to be bold.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Why would he need to be bold (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by Edger on Sat Jan 17, 2009 at 05:45:53 PM EST
    if people are "prepared to give him years to deal with the crush of problems" and "79 percent were optimistic about the next four years"?

    Now if 79 percent said "this what you will do and have completed by then, or you will be fired in 2012", he might get busy with some bold action. Maybe.

    But if the boldness displayed by Democrats, and by voters, since the 2006 Midterms is any indication, it looks like he can stick his thumb in the country's eye and relax with his feet up for the next four years and still count on re-election.

    True (none / 0) (#4)
    by SOS on Sat Jan 17, 2009 at 05:49:10 PM EST
    I became totally disillusioned by the Dems this past 8 years and it's not going to be easy to win back peoples confidence.

    Doing something might. (none / 0) (#6)
    by Edger on Sat Jan 17, 2009 at 05:52:07 PM EST
    I'm (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by SOS on Sat Jan 17, 2009 at 05:56:04 PM EST
    not going to hold my breath anytime soon because it looks to me like they've become habitual.

    The problem is not with Obama (none / 0) (#12)
    by Edger on Sat Jan 17, 2009 at 06:02:04 PM EST
    or with the Democrats. The problem is that the people who need to hold them accountable and force bold action from them lack the boldness to do it. Once people vote they give away the only leverage they had.

    Time to be Realistic (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by SOS on Sat Jan 17, 2009 at 05:46:06 PM EST
    about the problems this country has to solve. The problem with bold is it takes a hell of a lot longer to get out of mess then it does to get into one.

    The problem with bold is (none / 0) (#5)
    by Edger on Sat Jan 17, 2009 at 05:51:34 PM EST
    that without it, it will take a hell of a lot longer to get out of this mess then it did to get into it.

    But that's ok. If he does nothing he'll be re-elected in four years.


    The secret of true success (none / 0) (#11)
    by SOS on Sat Jan 17, 2009 at 06:01:27 PM EST
    is to be dedicated and impeccable.

    At least Bo appears to have these qualities.

    And I doubt we're going back to "wealth building" by buying lots of stuff we don't need anytime soon.

    I don't see computer-windows driven upgrade madness in the picture to drive the economy back into liquidity either.

    Only "Shovel Ready" stuff.

    For a while at least.


    Appears to have these qualities? He does? (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Edger on Sat Jan 17, 2009 at 06:03:53 PM EST
    FISA? Prosecution for war crimes? Brennan?

    Exactly, still... (none / 0) (#22)
    by weltec2 on Sat Jan 17, 2009 at 07:16:32 PM EST
    I have a wait and see attitude, but it is not an optimistic one.

    Confidence and patience are for patsies (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by andgarden on Sat Jan 17, 2009 at 05:52:52 PM EST
    but this is America. . .

    "...79 percent were optimistic..." (5.00 / 3) (#21)
    by oldpro on Sat Jan 17, 2009 at 06:58:48 PM EST
    That's hope masquerading as optimism.  No one I know is optimistic but almost everyone is hoping to be pleasantly surprised.

    Here's an example making the rounds this week:

    Dear World:

    We, the United States of America, your top quality supplier of the ideals of  liberty and democracy, would like to apologize for our 2001-2008 interruption in service. The technical fault that led to this eight-year service outage has been located, and the software responsible was replaced  November 4.  Early tests of the newly installed program indicate that we are now operating correctly, and we expect it to be fully functional on January 20. We apologize for any inconvenience caused by the outage.  We look forward  to resuming full service and hope to improve in years to come. We thank you for your patience and understanding,



    We don't have "years" to deal with (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by Anne on Sat Jan 17, 2009 at 11:29:18 PM EST
    the mess that confronts us; too many people are hurting, and there are more heading for disaster every day.  Everyone I know is on edge, worried about their jobs, worried about their retirement funds, cutting back on more and more in the hope that it will be enough to give them a little breathing room.

    People don't have years to watch the president and the Congress dilly-dally around playing political games - the time for action is now.

    Obama may have one of the best smiles going, but if the reaction of the Republicans to the Democrats' bill on S-CHIP is any indication, the GOP is willing to be charmed only as long as they get everything they want - they are already being petulant about it and are giving no ground.  My question is, will the Dems blink, as they always seem to do?  Will Obama blink?

    And if the Dems are willing to roll over on a safety-net program for children, at a time when more and more people need help, it does not bode well for any other initiative designed to keep people from disaster.

    While I agree (none / 0) (#24)
    by shoulin4 on Sun Jan 18, 2009 at 09:53:01 AM EST
    that there are millions of people with their lives on the balance and can't afford to wait while our congressional leaders ho and hum and fight and point fingers and sit on their hands, it took us about 8 years to get us in this mess. The new administration must get to work ASAP, but it will still take many "years" for things to get better. This is why I believe that Obama won't win a second term. No matter how hard and fast he works on trying to correct this mess, there are too many people wanting to see results immediately when we probably won't even begin to see good results for at least 10 years. People, after 4 years and not seeing the results they want, will call him a failure and will get someone new.

    So that is one small thing (none / 0) (#3)
    by ThatOneVoter on Sat Jan 17, 2009 at 05:48:00 PM EST
    to thank Bush for! What do you think Obama's first major initiative will be---outside of trying to keep the economy from collapsing, of course. My guess is that it will be a foreign policy  move. For one thing, diplomatic successes don't have to cost  a lot of money.

    Whatever it is (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by SOS on Sat Jan 17, 2009 at 05:52:23 PM EST
    no doubt the Right will be screaming bloody murder just like when Clinton tried to modify and tweak health care early in his first term.

    Not with those poll numbers (none / 0) (#13)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat Jan 17, 2009 at 06:03:48 PM EST
    they won't.  And his charm initiative with them is having an effect, too.

    Both will wear off after a while, but I doubt they're going to go on an all-out obstruction campaign the way they did with Bill right off the bat, who, after all, didn't even win a majority of the popular vote.

    The entire Village is deeply in love with Obama, the way they were deeply in horror of Bill Clinton, and that also has a very big impact on GOP behavior.  They'll kick up a few fusses just to keep the base happy (which is now down to that bizarre 22 percent for the moment), but they're not going to go to the mattresses, I don't think, as long as Obama's approval is as high as it is. They'll generally lay low and wait till everybody calms down and gets realistic before they put themselves on the line.

    Just my guess.  But these guys are ideologues, not suicides.


    They'll do the same thing they've (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by SOS on Sat Jan 17, 2009 at 06:08:19 PM EST
    always done. Head back to the right wing think tanks and spend the next 8 years planning their next unregulated and unchallenged rip off of America.

    What I imagine they will do is (none / 0) (#19)
    by ThatOneVoter on Sat Jan 17, 2009 at 06:21:59 PM EST
    to come up with comparisons that show Obama is worse than Bush.

    Well, (none / 0) (#10)
    by blogname on Sat Jan 17, 2009 at 05:57:43 PM EST
    The Democrats certainly cannot claim a moral high ground on Bush's failures.  For almost every policy area that we liberals identify as making Bush the worst president in history -- A CLAIM I REJECT -- Democrats' fingerprints are on the scene.  A supermajority of Congress authorized the War. Neither party tried to stop the crazy lending that helped create the housing bubble and subsequent credit crisis. Many Democrats, including Biden, supported "deregulation" (usually expressed in blanket terms) and NAFTA. The list can go on and on...  Get a Grip People: Bush Is not the Worst President in U.S. History

    They will claim it (none / 0) (#15)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat Jan 17, 2009 at 06:05:10 PM EST
    nevertheless, and get away with it at least for now in the reflected glory of Obama adoration.

    Who (none / 0) (#16)
    by SOS on Sat Jan 17, 2009 at 06:05:58 PM EST
    do you consider the worst?

    Bush without a doubt would be seriously hard to top by any stretch of the imagination.


    Needless to say (none / 0) (#18)
    by SOS on Sat Jan 17, 2009 at 06:08:58 PM EST
    I suppose the only way we can go is up at this point.

    We're a long ways from the bottom yet... (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by Edger on Sat Jan 17, 2009 at 06:36:53 PM EST