EXCLUSIVE POLL: Insiders from Both Parties Give Obama High Marks

Closure: Obama provided some.
National Journal
Peter Bell and James A. Barnes
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Peter Bell James A. Barnes
May 2, 2011, 2:17 p.m.

Pres­id­ent Obama has re­ceived a ma­jor polit­ic­al boost — at least for now — from the suc­cess­ful U.S. mil­it­ary ac­tion that killed 9-11 mas­ter-mind Osama bin Laden, ac­cord­ing to a Na­tion­al Journ­al Polit­ic­al In­siders Poll con­duc­ted this af­ter­noon. Asked what the im­pact of killing Bin Laden would be the Pres­id­ent’s polit­ic­al stand­ing, more than 90 per­cent of the Demo­crat­ic In­siders and two-thirds of the Re­pub­lic­an In­siders said that the Obama would see a “great deal” or a “fair amount” of im­prove­ment in his po­s­i­tion.

With the suc­cess­ful mil­it­ary strike, In­siders in both parties felt that Obama has been able to quell doubts about his con­duct of for­eign policy and burn­ished his lead­er­ship im­age. “For once the Pres­id­ent has shown he can lead and get res­ults,” said one Re­pub­lic­an In­sider. “He looks stronger than he has on any oth­er is­sue.” A Demo­crat­ic In­sider echoed that this is a “huge pos­it­ive for him as com­mand­er in chief: the more de­tails come out the bet­ter he and his na­tion­al se­cur­ity team look.” An­oth­er Demo­crat­ic In­sider noted: “One of the main cri­ti­cisms [of Obama] is that when it comes to for­eign policy, he is not strong enough and is an apo­lo­gist to the world — this puts those ar­gu­ments to bed.”

And one Re­pub­lic­an In­sider went so far as to de­clare that “for­eign Policy is off the table as a 2012 is­sue. Go­ing from spec­tat­or-in-chief to ‘Lord High Ex­e­cu­tion­er’ demon­strates re­solve, tough­ness and pur­pose.”

At the same time, many In­siders cau­tioned that the boost to Obama’s stand­ing could be short-lived. “It will be fleet­ing,” averred a Demo­crat­ic In­sider. “The [pub­lic’s] fo­cus will re­turn to jobs and the eco­nomy in un­der two weeks. However, OBL will be a stand­ing line in all speeches go­ing for­ward.” Ad­ded a GOP In­sider: “Amer­ic­ans have short memor­ies, so gas prices, the wars, and the gen­er­al eco­nom­ic mal­aise will come back in a week or two.”

Sev­er­al In­siders, both Demo­crats and Re­pub­lic­ans, re­called that after the suc­cess­ful pro­sec­u­tion of the first Ir­aq war, Pres­id­ent George H. W. Bush saw his poll num­bers leap in­to the polit­ic­al stra­to­sphere, only to tumble back to earth when the eco­nomy soured in 1991 and 1992. “We all re­mem­ber the tri­umphant Bush 41 at the Gulf War vic­tory parade; however by Novem­ber, ‘92, not so much,” said one Re­pub­lic­an In­sider. “Re­mem­ber, these bumps are not al­ways en­dur­ing,” said a Demo­crat­ic In­sider. “[George H. W.] Bush after Desert Storm had a 91 per­cent ap­prov­al rat­ing then lost the elec­tion 18 months later to Bill Clin­ton.”

In­deed, In­siders in both parties spec­u­lated that the rising gas prices could quickly un­der­cut the Pres­id­ent’s polit­ic­al gain. “It will have a small im­prove­ment that people will re­mem­ber un­til the next time they fill their cars with gas,” said a Demo­crat­ic In­sider. “It will help a lot, un­til gas hits $4.50 a gal­lon,” echoed a Re­pub­lic­an.

The Na­tion­al Journ­al Polit­ic­al In­siders Poll is a reg­u­lar sur­vey of polit­ic­al op­er­at­ives, strategists, cam­paign con­sult­ants and lob­by­ists in both parties. Be­low are the names of the In­siders who are sur­veyed:

Demo­crat­ic Polit­ic­al In­siders Jill Alp­er, John An­za­lone, Brad Ban­non, Dave Beat­tie, Andy Bech­hoe­fer, Cor­nell Belch­er, Matt Ben­nett, Mitchell W. Ber­ger, Mike Ber­man, Stephanie Bosh, Paul Brath­waite, Donna Brazile, Mark Brew­er, Ed Bruley, George Bruno, Deb Cal­la­han, Bon­nie Camp­bell, Bill Car­rick, Guy Cecil, Mar­tin J. Chavez, Tony Coelho, Larry Co­hen, Jerry Craw­ford, Brendan Daly, Jeff Daniel­son, Peter Daou, Howard Dean, Scott De­Fife, Jim De­mers, Tad Dev­ine, Dav­id Di Mar­tino, Debbie Din­gell, Mon­ica Dix­on, Patrick Dor­ton, Pat Du­jakovich, An­ita Dunn, Jeff Eller, Steve El­men­d­orf, Carter Eskew, Vic Fazio, Peter Fenn, Scott Fer­son, Jim Fleischmann, Tina Flournoy, Don Fo­ley, Jef­frey For­bes, Vin­cent Fril­lici, Gina Glantz, Niles Godes, John Mi­chael Gonza­lez, Joe Grand­mais­on, Anna Green­berg, Stan Green­berg, Pat Griffin, Larry Griso­lano, Mi­chael Gron­stal, Lisa Grove, Mar­cia Hale, Jill Hanauer, Dick Har­poot­li­an, Paul Harstad, Laura Hartigan, Doug Hat­t­away, Mike Henry, Kar­en Hicks, Leo Hindery Jr., Har­old Ickes, Mar­cus Jadotte, John Jameson, Steve Jard­ing, Jona­thon Jones, Jim Jordan, Gale Kauf­man, Lisa Koun­toupes, Kam Kuwata, Celinda Lake, Dav­id Lang, Penny Lee, Chris Le­hane, Jeff Link, Bill Lynch, Bob Malo­ney, Steve Marchand, Jim Mar­gol­is, Paul Maslin, Keith Ma­son, Susan Mc­Cue, Ger­ald McEntee, Tom McMa­hon, Phil Mc­Namara, Dav­id Med­ina, Mi­chael Mee­han, Mark Mell­man, John Mer­rigan, Steve Murphy, Janet Na­pol­it­ano, Dav­id Nas­sar, Mar­cia Nich­ols, John Nor­ris, Tom Ochs, Tom O’Don­nell, Scott Par­ven, Jef­frey Peck, De­bora Pig­na­telli, Tony Podesta, Jack Quinn, Larry Rasky, Mame Re­iley, Steve Ric­chetti, Will Robin­son, Steve Rosenth­al, Dav­id Rudd, John Ry­an, Mi­chael Sar­geant, Stephanie Schriock, Wendy Sher­man, Terry Shu­maker, Sean Sin­clair, Phil Sing­er, Erik Smith, Doug Sosnik, Greg Speed, Darry Sragow, Ken Strasma, Kat­rina Swett Sarah, Swish­er, Doug Thor­nell, Jef­frey Tram­mell, Ed Tur­l­ing­ton, Rick Wien­er, James Wil­li­ams, JoDee Win­ter­hof, Bri­an Wolff, Jon Young­dahl, and Jim Zo­gby.

GOP Polit­ic­al In­siders Dan Al­len, Stan An­der­son, Gary An­dres, Saul­i­us (Saul) Anuzis, Rich Ashooh, Whit Ayres, Brett Bader, Mitch Bain­wol, Gary Bauer, Dav­id Beck­with, Paul Ben­necke, Clark Ben­son, Wayne Ber­man, Bri­an Bieron, Charlie Black, Kirk Bla­lock, Car­mine Boal, Jeff Boeyink, Ron Bon­jean, Jeff Bu­ley, Luke Byars, Nick Calio, Al Carde­n­as, Danny Car­roll, Ron Christie, Jim Cic­coni, Rob Collins, Cesar Conda, Jake Cor­man, Scott Cot­ting­ton, Greg Crist, Di­ane Crookham-John­son, Fer­gus Cul­len, Tom Dav­is, Mike Den­nehy, Ken Duber­stein, Steve Duprey, Debi Durham, Sara Fa­gen, Frank Fahren­kopf, John Fee­hery, Don Fierce, Mindy Finn, Mindy Fletch­er, Carl Forti, Alex Gage, Bruce A. Gates, Sam Geduldig, Adam Geller, Ben­jamin Gins­berg, Dav­id Gir­ard-di­Carlo, Bill Green­er, Lanny Grif­fith, Janet Mullins Gris­som, Doug Gross, Todd Har­ris, Steve Hart, Chris­toph­er Healy, Ral­ph Hell­mann, Chris Hen­ick, Terry Holt, Dav­id Ian­nel­li, Ed Ingle, Jim In­no­conzi, Clark Judge, Dav­id Keat­ing, Dav­id Ken­sing­er, Bob Kjel­lander, Ed Kut­ler, Chris La­Civ­ita, Jim Lake, George S. LeMieux, Steve Lom­bardo, Kev­in Mad­den, Joel Maiola, Gary Malo­ney, Dav­id Mar­in, Mary Matal­in, Dan Mat­toon, Bri­an Mc­Cor­mack, Mark McKin­non, Kyle Mc­Slar­row, Ken Mehl­man, Jim Mer­rill, Lisa Cam­ooso Miller, Tim Mor­ris­on, Mike Murphy, Phil Musser, Ron Nehring, Terry Nel­son, Neil Ne­w­house, Dav­id Nor­cross, Zi­ad Ojakli, Jack Oliv­er, Todd Olsen, Con­nie Par­toy­an, Dana Peri­no, Billy Piper, Van B. Poole, Tom Rath, Scott Reed, Dav­id Rehr, Tom Reyn­olds, Steve Roberts, Jason Roe, Dav­id Roeder­er, Dan Schnur, Russ Schriefer, Rich Schwarm, Brent Seaborn, Rick Shelby, An­drew Shore, Kev­in Shuvalov, Don Sipple, Ken Spain, Fred Steep­er, Bob Steven­son, Terry Sul­li­van, Eric Tan­en­blatt, Richard Temple, Heath Thompson, Jay Tim­mons, War­ren Tomp­kins, Ted Van Der Meid, Dirk van Don­gen, Jan van Lo­huizen, Stew­art Ver­dery, Dick Wadhams, John Weaver, Lezlee West­ine, Dave Win­ston, Ginny Wolfe, and Fred Wszolek.

What We're Following See More »
Cruz to Back Trump
1 days ago
Two Polls for Clinton, One for Trump
1 days ago

With three days until the first debate, the polls are coming fast and furious. The latest round:

  • An Associated Press/Gfk poll of registered voters found very few voters committed, with Clin­ton lead­ing Trump, 37% to 29%, and Gary John­son at 7%.
  • A Mc­Clatchy-Mar­ist poll gave Clin­ton a six-point edge, 45% to 39%, in a four-way bal­lot test. Johnson pulls 10% support, with Jill Stein at 4%.
  • Rasmussen, which has drawn criticism for continually showing Donald Trump doing much better than he does in other polls, is at it again. A new survey gives Trump a five-point lead, 44%-39%.
Trump Eschewing Briefing Materials in Debate Prep
1 days ago

In contrast to Hillary Clinton's meticulous debate practice sessions, Donald Trump "is largely shun­ning tra­di­tion­al de­bate pre­par­a­tions, but has been watch­ing video of…Clin­ton’s best and worst de­bate mo­ments, look­ing for her vul­ner­ab­il­it­ies.” Trump “has paid only curs­ory at­ten­tion to brief­ing ma­ter­i­als. He has re­fused to use lecterns in mock de­bate ses­sions des­pite the ur­ging of his ad­visers. He prefers spit­balling ideas with his team rather than hon­ing them in­to crisp, two-minute an­swers.”

Trump Makes No Outreach to Spanish Speakers
1 days ago

Donald Trump "is on the precipice of becoming the only major-party presidential candidate this century not to reach out to millions of American voters whose dominant, first or just preferred language is Spanish. Trump has not only failed to buy any Spanish-language television or radio ads, he so far has avoided even offering a translation of his website into Spanish, breaking with two decades of bipartisan tradition."

Clintons Buy the House Next Door in Chappaqua
2 days ago

Bill and Hillary Clinton have purchased the home next door to their primary residence in tony Chappaqua, New York, for $1.16 million. "By purchasing the new home, the Clinton's now own the entire cul-de-sac at the end of the road in the leafy New York suburb. The purchase makes it easier for the United States Secret Service to protect the former president and possible future commander in chief."