Political consultants are asking themselves: is the once golden child of the DNC, Barack Obama, helping or hurting the Democratic Party?
Democrats are increasingly fearful that President Obama’s handling of the threat from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is becoming a liability for their party. Those fears have become more acute after Obama’s Sunday evening address from the Oval Office, where the president unveiled little by way of news or strategic shifts.
“Weak and unclear,” Democratic strategist Hank Sheinkopf told The Hill, when asked for his reaction to Obama’s remarks. “What is the plan of action?” Sheinkopf added that, at this point, “any rational person would worry about his legacy, and any rational Democrat would worry about the Democrats being injured in an electoral setting.”
This vulnerability is all the more frustrating to Democrats because at one point during Obama’s presidency — the period immediately following the operation that killed Osama bin Laden in 2011 — they believed that the party’s traditional disadvantage on issues of national security had been erased.
Personally, I think Democrats should be more concerned with the liability that ISIS brings to national security and the safety of the American people, not their polling numbers. But regardless, the numbers don’t look good for Democrats.
In a CNN/ORC poll released last week, only 38 percent approved of his handling of terrorism, while 60 percent disapproved — the lowest mark of his presidency. Asked specifically about Obama’s approach to ISIS, 33 percent approved and 64 percent disapproved.
Even Democrats are frustrated that Obama’s refusal to deviate from his ideological agenda is so far out of line with what the American people want. The American people don’t feel better off than they were 8 years ago, and they don’t feel safer either. The last thing voters are going to want is more of the same.