comic relief. President Obama gave an interview to Australian ABC reporter Kerry O'Brien and responds to a question on his relationship with Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. Obama begins his response, "Kevin is somebody who I probably share as much of a world view as any world leader out there." Obama then proceeds to describe the Prime Minister as smart, humble and pragmatic, "like me." This is O'Brien's recollection of the candid discussion:
"It was interesting. Diplomats and politicians say nice things about each other when they're having international chats," O'Brien said.To be fair, Obama seems to emphasize he shares Mr. Rudd's pragmatism in this video clip from the interview, but it is easy to see why O'Brien recalls Obama listing humility as a trait he shares with Rudd. If Obama doesn't know the meaning of the word humility by now he may need to learn it the hard way. The latest PPP poll shows our smart, humble and pragmatic President trailing Romney and Huckabee in a hypothetical 2012 matchup. He ties Newt Gingrich and leads Sarah Palin by a mere two points. The poll suggests it was neither smart nor pragmatic to pass his signature health care legislation:
But O'Brien says Mr Obama spoke candidly about their relationship - which has in the past been described as a "meeting of minds".
"He was quite expansive and quite genuine on what he saw as the commonality and connections between [he and Mr Rudd]. One of which was humility," O'Brien said.
Our monthly look ahead to the 2012 Presidential race finds Barack Obama more or less tied with all four of the leading candidates for the Republican nomination. He trails Mike Huckabee 47-45 and Mitt Romney 45-44, ties Newt Gingrich at 45-45, and leads Sarah Palin 47-45. This is the weakest performance Obama's posted in these 13 monthly surveys and a pretty clear indication that passing health care has not done anything to enhance his political standing, at least in the short term.How about a nice warm slice of humble pie, Mr. President? We'll be happy to serve that cold in November and again in 2012 if he prefers. A guy can never get too much pie.
It's not that any of the Republican candidates are particularly popular, or even that Obama's approval numbers have declined. But whereas in previous months a good number of the voters disapproving of his job performance weren't ready to commit to voting Republican in 2012 yet, now 85-89% of them do in each of these hypothetical contests. That suggests that even if Obama's overall unpopularity has not increased, the intensity of it has. For instance among voters who disapprove of Obama but also have an unfavorable opinion of Sarah Palin, she leads him by 22 points in a head to head contest. That wasn't necessarily the case in previous months.