Poll: How Much of a Lame Duck Is Obama?

Political Insiders — including half of Democrats — say he’s just passing time.

President Obama sinks a putt on the ninth hole at Mid-Pacific Country Club on December 31, 2009, in Kailua, Hawaii.
National Journal
Michael Catalini Sarah Mimms and Peter Bell
July 18, 2014, 1 a.m.

Q: On a scale of 1-10 (1 be­ing hardly at all and 10 be­ing very much so), how much of a lame duck is Pres­id­ent Obama?

DEMO­CRATS (92 VOTES)

(Cory Lum—Pool/Getty Im­ages)1-3: 14%
4-6: 36%
7-10: 50%

Av­er­age: 5.5

1-3

“He is still com­mand­er in chief and the only politi­cian/per­son who can com­mand a world audi­ence any day of the week.”

“Prez is do­ing a re­mark­able op­tics job us­ing ex­ec­ut­ive ac­tions to high­light con­gres­sion­al in­com­pet­ence.”

4-6

“A Do-Noth­ing Con­gress re­in­forces lame-duck ap­pear­ance, even though many of Obama’s do­mest­ic policies are pop­u­lar. Not much POTUS can do about that.”

“He’s no more lame now than he was years ago be­cause the Re­pub­lic­ans haven’t co­oper­ated for six years!”

“The ab­dic­a­tion of in­ter­play by Con­gress has al­lowed him to use his ex­ec­ut­ive au­thor­ity in a way that in­creases his power without fear of pub­lic re­pris­al.”

7-10

“Obama who?”

“LEAD­ER­LESS — he has been a lame duck since Novem­ber 2010.”

“When you play pool while Tel Aviv, Dam­as­cus, Bagh­dad, and Texas are burn­ing … you’re a lame duck.”

“The 22nd Amend­ment should be re­pealed; since FDR, second terms, in­clud­ing Re­agan’s, have been at best dis­ap­point­ing and at worst dis­asters.”

Q: On a scale of 1-10 (1 be­ing hardly at all and 10 be­ing very much so), how much of a lame duck is Pres­id­ent Obama?

RE­PUB­LIC­ANS (89 VOTES)

1-3: 5%
4-6: 14%
7-10: 81%

Av­er­age: 7.1

4-6

“Iron­ic­ally, los­ing the Sen­ate would lib­er­ate Obama to cut some leg­acy-mak­ing deals.”

“Nev­er a lame duck on for­eign af­fairs, and he can still raise money for Dems. Lotta time left on the clock, folks.”

“Hard to dif­fer­en­ti­ate between the lame-duck­i­ness of the White House and the para­lys­is of the Con­gress. At least he still has the power of ex­ec­ut­ive ac­tion.”

7-10

“He is in over his head and para­lyzed. May God help us sur­vive the next two-plus years of his para­lys­is.”

“A pres­id­ent’s job is to lead re­gard­less of how dif­fi­cult the cir­cum­stances. Just ima­gine Wash­ing­ton or Lin­coln or FDR or Re­agan look­ing at their polit­ic­al ad­versar­ies and snarling, ‘So, sue me.’ “

“His low poll num­bers and seem­ing un­will­ing­ness to work with Con­gress trans­lates in­to a pres­id­ent shrink­ing be­fore our eyes.”

“It is hard to tell if he is a lame duck or just genu­inely not in­ter­ested in the work of gov­ern­ing — at least a lame duck at­tempts to fly.”

“It’s hard to com­mand a bully pul­pit sit­ting at 41 per­cent ap­prov­al.”

“Harry Re­id is run­ning the Hill for the Demo­crats.”

“He’s us­ing ex­ec­ut­ive or­ders to le­gis­late. It will be a 9-10 if the D’s lose the Sen­ate.”

… … … … .

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, Bon­nie Camp­bell, Bill Car­rick, Guy Cecil, Mar­tin J. Chavez, Tony Coelho, Larry Co­hen, Jerry Craw­ford, 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, Celinda Lake, Dav­id Lang, Penny Lee, Chris Le­hane, Jeff Link, Bob Malo­ney, Jim Man­ley, Steve Marchand, Jim Mar­gol­is, Paul Maslin, Keith Ma­son, Susan Mc­Cue, Ger­ald McEntee, Steve McMa­hon, Tom McMa­hon, Phil Mc­Namara, Dav­id Med­ina, Mi­chael Mee­han, Mark Mell­man, John Mer­rigan, Mi­chael Mon­roe, Steve Murphy, Janet Na­pol­it­ano, Dav­id Nas­sar, Mar­cia Nich­ols, John Nor­ris, Tom Ochs, Tom O’Don­nell, Jef­frey Peck, De­bora Pig­na­telli, Tony Podesta, Je­frey Pol­lock, Jack Quinn, Larry Rasky, Mame Re­iley, Ed Rendell, Steve Ric­chetti, Will Robin­son, Steve Rosenth­al, Dav­id Rudd, Ry­an Rudom­in­er, John Ry­an, Mi­chael Sar­geant, Stephanie Schriock, Terry Shu­maker, Sean Sin­clair, Phil Sing­er, Erik Smith, Doug Sosnik, Greg Speed, Darry Sragow, Ken Strasma, 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, Bri­an Baker, 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, Alex Cas­tel­lanos, Ron Christie, Jim Cic­coni, Jonath­an Col­le­gio, Rob Collins, Cesar Conda, Jake Cor­man, Scott Cot­ting­ton, Jay Cran­ford, Greg Crist, Di­ane Crookham-John­son, Fer­gus Cul­len, Tom Dav­is, Mike Den­nehy, Ken Duber­stein, Debi Durham, Sara Fa­gen, Frank Fahren­kopf, John Fee­hery, Don Fierce, Mindy Finn, Carl Forti, Alex Gage, Bruce A. Gates, Sam Geduldig, Adam Geller, Ben­jamin Gins­berg, Dav­id Gir­ard-di­Carlo, Bill Green­er, Jonath­an Grella, Lanny Grif­fith, Janet Mullins Gris­som, Doug Gross, Todd Har­ris, Steve Hart, Chris­toph­er Healy, Ral­ph Hell­mann, Chris Hen­ick, Terry Holt, Dav­id Ian­nel­li, Ed Ingle, Jim In­no­cenzi, Clark Judge, Dav­id Keat­ing, Dav­id Ken­sing­er, Bob Kjel­lander, Ed Kut­ler, Chris La­Civ­ita, Jim Lake, Steven Law, 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, Kev­in O’Neill, Con­nie Par­toy­an, 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, Dav­id Tamasi, 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, Fred Wszolek, and Mat­thew Zablud.

Q: On a scale of 1-10 (1 being hardly at all and 10 being very much so), how much of a lame duck is President Obama?

DEMO­CRATS (92 VOTES)

(Cory Lum—Pool/Getty Im­ages)1-3: 14%
4-6: 36%
7-10: 50%

Av­er­age: 5.5

1-3

“He is still com­mand­er in chief and the only politi­cian/per­son who can com­mand a world audi­ence any day of the week.”

“Prez is do­ing a re­mark­able op­tics job us­ing ex­ec­ut­ive ac­tions to high­light con­gres­sion­al in­com­pet­ence.”

4-6

“A Do-Noth­ing Con­gress re­in­forces lame-duck ap­pear­ance, even though many of Obama’s do­mest­ic policies are pop­u­lar. Not much POTUS can do about that.”

“He’s no more lame now than he was years ago be­cause the Re­pub­lic­ans haven’t co­oper­ated for six years!”

“The ab­dic­a­tion of in­ter­play by Con­gress has al­lowed him to use his ex­ec­ut­ive au­thor­ity in a way that in­creases his power without fear of pub­lic re­pris­al.”

7-10

“Obama who?”

“LEAD­ER­LESS — he has been a lame duck since Novem­ber 2010.”

“When you play pool while Tel Aviv, Dam­as­cus, Bagh­dad, and Texas are burn­ing … you’re a lame duck.”

“The 22nd Amend­ment should be re­pealed; since FDR, second terms, in­clud­ing Re­agan’s, have been at best dis­ap­point­ing and at worst dis­asters.”

Q: On a scale of 1-10 (1 being hardly at all and 10 being very much so), how much of a lame duck is President Obama?

RE­PUB­LIC­ANS (89 VOTES)

1-3: 5%
4-6: 14%
7-10: 81%

Av­er­age: 7.1

4-6

“Iron­ic­ally, los­ing the Sen­ate would lib­er­ate Obama to cut some leg­acy-mak­ing deals.”

“Nev­er a lame duck on for­eign af­fairs, and he can still raise money for Dems. Lotta time left on the clock, folks.”

“Hard to dif­fer­en­ti­ate between the lame-duck­i­ness of the White House and the para­lys­is of the Con­gress. At least he still has the power of ex­ec­ut­ive ac­tion.”

7-10

“He is in over his head and para­lyzed. May God help us sur­vive the next two-plus years of his para­lys­is.”

“A pres­id­ent’s job is to lead re­gard­less of how dif­fi­cult the cir­cum­stances. Just ima­gine Wash­ing­ton or Lin­coln or FDR or Re­agan look­ing at their polit­ic­al ad­versar­ies and snarling, ‘So, sue me.’ “

“His low poll num­bers and seem­ing un­will­ing­ness to work with Con­gress trans­lates in­to a pres­id­ent shrink­ing be­fore our eyes.”

“It is hard to tell if he is a lame duck or just genu­inely not in­ter­ested in the work of gov­ern­ing — at least a lame duck at­tempts to fly.”

“It’s hard to com­mand a bully pul­pit sit­ting at 41 per­cent ap­prov­al.”

“Harry Re­id is run­ning the Hill for the Demo­crats.”

“He’s us­ing ex­ec­ut­ive or­ders to le­gis­late. It will be a 9-10 if the D’s lose the Sen­ate.”

… … … … .

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, Bon­nie Camp­bell, Bill Car­rick, Guy Cecil, Mar­tin J. Chavez, Tony Coelho, Larry Co­hen, Jerry Craw­ford, 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, Celinda Lake, Dav­id Lang, Penny Lee, Chris Le­hane, Jeff Link, Bob Malo­ney, Jim Man­ley, Steve Marchand, Jim Mar­gol­is, Paul Maslin, Keith Ma­son, Susan Mc­Cue, Ger­ald McEntee, Steve McMa­hon, Tom McMa­hon, Phil Mc­Namara, Dav­id Med­ina, Mi­chael Mee­han, Mark Mell­man, John Mer­rigan, Mi­chael Mon­roe, Steve Murphy, Janet Na­pol­it­ano, Dav­id Nas­sar, Mar­cia Nich­ols, John Nor­ris, Tom Ochs, Tom O’Don­nell, Jef­frey Peck, De­bora Pig­na­telli, Tony Podesta, Je­frey Pol­lock, Jack Quinn, Larry Rasky, Mame Re­iley, Ed Rendell, Steve Ric­chetti, Will Robin­son, Steve Rosenth­al, Dav­id Rudd, Ry­an Rudom­in­er, John Ry­an, Mi­chael Sar­geant, Stephanie Schriock, Terry Shu­maker, Sean Sin­clair, Phil Sing­er, Erik Smith, Doug Sosnik, Greg Speed, Darry Sragow, Ken Strasma, 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, Bri­an Baker, 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, Alex Cas­tel­lanos, Ron Christie, Jim Cic­coni, Jonath­an Col­le­gio, Rob Collins, Cesar Conda, Jake Cor­man, Scott Cot­ting­ton, Jay Cran­ford, Greg Crist, Di­ane Crookham-John­son, Fer­gus Cul­len, Tom Dav­is, Mike Den­nehy, Ken Duber­stein, Debi Durham, Sara Fa­gen, Frank Fahren­kopf, John Fee­hery, Don Fierce, Mindy Finn, Carl Forti, Alex Gage, Bruce A. Gates, Sam Geduldig, Adam Geller, Ben­jamin Gins­berg, Dav­id Gir­ard-di­Carlo, Bill Green­er, Jonath­an Grella, Lanny Grif­fith, Janet Mullins Gris­som, Doug Gross, Todd Har­ris, Steve Hart, Chris­toph­er Healy, Ral­ph Hell­mann, Chris Hen­ick, Terry Holt, Dav­id Ian­nel­li, Ed Ingle, Jim In­no­cenzi, Clark Judge, Dav­id Keat­ing, Dav­id Ken­sing­er, Bob Kjel­lander, Ed Kut­ler, Chris La­Civ­ita, Jim Lake, Steven Law, 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, Kev­in O’Neill, Con­nie Par­toy­an, 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, Dav­id Tamasi, 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, Fred Wszolek, and Mat­thew Zablud.

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