Ben Smith’s piece today on how TEH INDEPENDENTS HATE OBAMA isn’t bad. It includes discussions with actual pollsters instead of political “experts” like Pat Buchanan and Bill Kristol. But it’s strange to me that the same people who insisted Bush was a popular wartime president even when his approval rating was in the 40s are now concern-trolling Obama’s 55-60 percent approval rating. Note that while many media types say that the country only turned on Bush after Katrina, the reality is that his approval ratings were consistently well-below 50 percent starting a four or five months before Katrina.
Now, there has always been a lot of weirdness in discussion of Obama’s poll numbers. Remember, to many Hillary supporters, Obama didn’t really win the primary since he didn’t win the left-handed Jewish albino demographic. And we still can’t say for sure if Obama got more votes than McCain, because of the Bradley effect; a lot of white voters were afraid to admit to themselves that they weren’t voting for the black candidate, and that could mean that the actual election results badly overestimated Obama’s level of support. (This is a joke.)
Maybe that’s all this is, but I can’t escape the feeling that many in the media are fixated on puncturing the Obama image in a way they never were with Bush. From 2001–2005, reporters boasted about the nicknames Bush gave them, now they boast about having asked Obama a “tough question”. What changed?