November 3, 2009

CNN Poll: 54 percent approve of Obama

Posted: 08:52 AM ET

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One year after he won a historical presidential election, a slight majority of Americans approve of the job Barack Obama's doing in the White House.
Fifty-four percent of people questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Tuesday approve of how Obama is handling his duties as president, with 45 percent saying they disapprove.

"Obama's approval rating of 54 percent is nearly identical to the 53 percent of the vote he won a year ago," notes CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "And in nearly every demographic category, the percent that approve of Obama today is within two to three points of the percent who voted for him in 2008. It's a different story when we turn to ideology. His approval rating among liberals is 7 points higher than the number of liberals who voted for him. But among conservatives, the number who like Obama today is down 10 points compared to his share of the vote among that group in 2008."

The survey suggests that the president's approval rating remains over 50 percent even though most Americans disapprove of how Obama is handling the economy, health care, Afghanistan, Iraq, unemployment, illegal immigration and the federal budget deficit.

How does he do it?

"By retaining a reservoir of goodwill left over from his election to the White House a year ago. Six in 10 say Obama inspires confidence in them; six in 10 also call him a strong leader who is honest and trustworthy. Sixty-three percent say he is not a typical politician. More than half give Obama a thumbs-up on 11 of the 12 personal characteristics tested," adds Holland.

Only 45 percent say he has a clear plan for solving the country's problems - the only item on which a majority has a negative view of him.

(Read more)

Filed under: Larry King Live • Politics • Polls

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Ted   November 3rd, 2009 10:55 am ET

There is no blog on Larry interviewing four military persons on Apfganistan, so I must voice my opinion here. After all, President Obama must make the ultimate decision on this most crucial subject.

I do not remember that anyone from Apfganistan asked us to build them a nation, it is our naive perception that the whole world must have an anglosaxon type of government.
Apfganistan is a summation of different tribes ran by landlords and chieftains, speaking different languages. The borders were drawn by the british, ignoring the historical ties. The Pashtuns were divided up between Apfganistan and Pakistan.
Anyone in Washington who thinks we can make it into a modern state is out of his mind. The more troops we send in there, the more they turn against us, as for them we are the enemy, not the Taliban. We are the invaders, the unbelievers who must be driven out.
We pay a few local politicians so they serve our purpose, however they will turn against us if the situation requires it. Did we not learn a lession in Vietnam, "do not get involved in a civil war of other people", because they all turn against you. Just ask any poliman who tried to settle a family fight.

Mr. President, you still have a good will bonus, however it is getting thin. If you escalate the war in Apfganistan the world will turn against you and also those who believed your promises and voted for you. The war becomes your war and you will be judged like other politicians who promise everything to get elected then ignore those promises.
Just remember what the Democratic Party promised before the 2006 election and what did they do after we gave you the majority in both houses. You cannot fool us forever.

Take the advice of that yound marine who said it very clearly that we will be there for decades with thousands of soldiers dead and our money wasted. It will be your Vietnam.

ckelly   November 3rd, 2009 12:13 pm ET

There seems to be a pattern in the middle east that happens over and over..

The US goes into Afghanistan, Iraq and other Islamic states and tries to buy the favor and assistance of tribes against other tribes, and it always backfires. The occupied take the US guns, training, money and assistance as the American occupiers use a campaign of war and re-civilization strategies that are imposed on citizens. The poor locals have little choice or opportunity so they oblige for a while-making enemies with their own kinsmen. THEN, the opposing forces align themselves together-either as the troupes are leaving or while the action is dying out-or in the service of terrorist groups, criminals who threaten their families. (the proverbial rock and hard place.)

You can not buy, impose or bargin a democratic state, where people have no history or interest in it. Where other countries and philosophies have occupied before in an attempt to wipe out Afgghan culture, values and replace it with something else.-Always failing miserably-leaving only terrorists and ideologues with cultural sentiment to keep the order. "Ahhh... at least they look like us, speak our language ans share our religion and culture."

The US needs to use its intelligence to get to the terrorist thugs in all countries instead of using invasion, and bombing the locals who come to see the Americans as the anti-Islamist terrorist thugs.

The cost of using American lives and contracted mercenaries is outrageous and senseless. Use intelligence (worldwide) and peace-keepers locally. EDUCATE the country and set up a viable economy. Support a trained, legitimate police force and national army...However, the damage has been done now, and the money is flowing into battle worn impoverished hands who think ..."its better the devil we know (criminality) than the devil we don't".....

As I write about it now, I don't think there is a real answer currently available to solve the corruption of Afghanistan. The pattern has been established and the trust is broken.

william a. sassman   November 3rd, 2009 12:21 pm ET

I am a 30 yr. vet. and was highly distressed to learn that the cover up of the death of the football hero Pat Tillman shortly after his enlistment was orchestrated by Gen. McCrystal. Pat's family was awarded the bronze star for valor, whne in fact he was killed by "friendly fire", a fact that was documented later. We in the military were sworn to a code of honesty, integrity and valor, traits I fear are not possessed by the then Lt.Gen, subsequntly promoted to 4 stars.


Lt.Col, Chaplain Bill Sassman

Rose   November 3rd, 2009 12:54 pm ET

The US is in Afghanistan for geo-political reasons. Bin Ladin as been used as a big excuse. Opium production has risen greatly since the American presence there. The US installed Hamid Karzai, long in the CIA's service, who is referred to as the "Opium Godfather". Where is all of the drug money going?

Since the financial fall of the US power elites, their continued need for dominance focused on breaking up any emerging cooperation in the economic, energy or military might between Russia and China. US foreign policy in reflects this.

This has resulted in many American bases being built up in Afghanistan, encircling EurAsia. The two powers (Russia & China) are converging through the "Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). This also includes the former Central Asian Republics. All areas strong in natural gas and oil reserves.

American bases are poised within military strike range of the two countries – Russia and China. The US claim of protecting an "Afghan democracy" against the illusive Al-Qaeda threat is an excuse to maintain the reality of its military presence. This fake war against terrorism is a good ploy to desperately hold on to America's past glory, now failed due to decades of financial abuse domestically and foreign policy blunders.

Gloria   November 3rd, 2009 1:02 pm ET

who am I to comment about this war situation at Afghanistan, or our President decisions regarding this matter; its the most difficult to resolve.
The words of Ted are very informative, and very assertive to the problem.
As a matter of fact it points out how complicated and how devastating it really is.
Can this matter be left alone, without placing the entire world in danger?
But that wouldn't be the solution.
Steps need to be taken to prevent this devastating destruction to continue.
President Obama knows it, he already expressed himself about it that he doesn't believe in war.
How can this war in Afghanistan be narrow down into peace full agreement?
How can all the parties that have interests in the formation and foundation of Afghanistan, "if Afghanistan is the summation of different tribes ran by landlords and chieftains speaking different languages" arrive to a agreed upon solution?
President Obama once said that he believed in communication as a means of understanding.
But I think he was dissuaded of such an intent.
Should this approach be looked into?

Rose   November 3rd, 2009 1:26 pm ET

Afghanistan's development is that country's concern and not the US. The US cannot "win" there. American interest is strictly very strategic. There are many nations in the world hungry for democracy and freedom. The US is not interested in "helping" them due to their lack of strategic importance. Certainly not enough to invade and enter its borders.

The US went into Afghanistan under GW Bush. Failure, deaths and lack of progress are being prolonged now. Sending more troops is not the answer. Again, the false mantra of "getting the job done" is a smoke screen for its post-imperialism ambitions.

We would all love to see countries free, democratic etc. That does not permit the intrusion of one nation upon another, especially if the intent is dishonest to begin with. Unfortunately, it is a no-win scenario in Afghanistan for the US.

Gloria   November 3rd, 2009 5:52 pm ET

Rose, your words pull down my shades. I have no visibility of the possibility of ending this war other then considering an approach to stop the wrong moves and the taking the steps towards a favorable ending.
Trial and error should narrow down the way. When we see all the no's, shouldn't the pro's pup up?
The objectivity of stopping terrorism and war is a must.
There is no other choice but to press on, not to fight but
end prejudice and achieve a reliable agreement for peace.

Jeri   November 3rd, 2009 8:12 pm ET

Gloria: US General Stanley McChrystal – the top commander of US and international forces in Afghanistan recently said he sees NO SIGNS of a major Al-Qaeda presence in that country, but links are maintained with insurgents (Reference: his address to Dutch Defense Ministry – Sept 2009). The General, of course, promotes the war.

Al-Qaeda and its operatives are spread out, including in Pakistan and Africa. They are not neatly sitting in one country where the US can go and clean them out. After 8 years, have we "caught" the terrorists? This prolonged war has resulted in thousands upon thousands of civilian deaths to Afghani men, women and children, many caused by American weapons.

As Ted noted, who exactly are we negotiating with? What ethnic group? What geographical area? Who speaks for other populations within Afghanistan? The Taliban was initially a CIA construct set up to accomplish the US mission of seeing the Soviets thrown out of Afghanistan in the 1980s. After the US withdrew, it left the problems of a well-equipped, fundamentalist, ideological and religious group.

GW Bush even welcomed the Taliban to Texas, with 5-star treatment, when an $oil pipeline$ from the Caspian was being contemplated in the 1990s. Now we have carpet bombed a nation of civilians to get to some insurgents. The US needs to be truthful about what it is doing in Afghanistan, especially the building of permanent bases. The US needs to get out and end this war. Bring our troops home.

Gloria   November 4th, 2009 1:59 am ET

Jeri, thank you for your upfront words, by all means, "the US needs to get out, end this war and bring our troops home" as you said. But then, what? As I asked before can this matter be left alone without placing the entire world in danger?
As Ckely pointed out, "I don't think there is a real answer currently available to solve the corruption of Afghanistan."
But there is a must for an intelligent procedure in dealing with this situation. and I trust our President will see to it.

Ted   November 4th, 2009 9:49 am ET

Great comments, my friends, and we agree in one point:
The war in Apfganistan is illegal, immoral, against our democratic culture and unwinnable.

The biggest problem is that our country is run by a military/industrial complex that makes billions every year with manufacturing always more sophisticated weapons, naturally at always higher prices. Those weapons must be used so more can be made, therefore we are constantly at war since 1941, when the japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. The WWII was the last time we had a "just" war, if war can be called just.
Those generals who today command our wars will be highly paid executives or advisers in the defense industry once they retire, so they have a vested interest not to tell the truth to the President. General Westmoreland lied about the real situation in Vietnam, giving out false reports. They must prove they earn their later positions.
Even many our Presidents were once generals, Washington, Jackson, Grant and Eisenhower, just to name a few. We are told that we are in danger, fear is a very potent way to move people, and we swallow the bait and send our troops to free countries and people, meanwhile paying a tremendous price both monetary and in human lives.

Someone must be out of his or her mind to believe that the Taliban is a treath to the USA. The have only one interest to turn Apfganistan into an islamic state and stop all interference from us unbelievers. They have no oil, no other resources so why are we there.
As Rose said, it is a pure lie to establish permanent military bases.

Ted   November 4th, 2009 10:06 am ET

The Russians made a statement: the NATO will loose in Apfganistan and leave a chaos behind. The same we did in Vietnam, Cambodia, Somalia and not to forget Iraq.
Since they are much closer than we are and are very concerned, they made an offer of cooperation.
They have the experience, have personell who speak all the apfgan dialects so they can negotiate in even terms.
President Obama said he will talk with anyone, so this offer should be very carefully contemplated.

Renee Berggren   November 14th, 2009 12:34 pm ET

AT last a bit of sense thank you Ted, I do promise you though Most of USA think of you as a traitor probably, Well all i can say to you is let them get on with the murder same as in NAM and then lets sit back and listen to more Bull crap about what went wrong ,, Yes Been there done that ,, Thanks again for a bit of common sense ,, The can barely say WEAPONS OF MASS DISTRUCTION ANY MORE its such a joke , So what are they going to say about afghanistan HUH , Cheers Ted

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