Obama May Have Made His Biggest Political Miscalculation In Years

Barack Obama approval rating sad face

Photo: AP

Last night, we took a look at how House Speaker John Boehner’s significant gamble on the sequester has paid off so far. This morning, Politico’s Glenn Thrust and Carrie Budoff Brown write the opposite angle — that President Barack Obama’s consistent doomsday warnings of the pain of the sequester have made it seem like he’s “crying wolf.”

One top Democratic Congressional aide slammed the Obama administration’s muddled messaging to Politico:

“Don’t accentuate a fight you don’t intend to wage [and] can’t win. … They spent two weeks building up sequester as a horror show and then got fact-checked a dozen times and were forced to back off their own claims of it being a disaster once they were forced to acquiesce to the cuts happening.”

The White House has pushed back on this by saying that their intention was never to warn of immediate doom. Obama has consistently said that the effects of the cuts won’t be felt immediately. But some worried that Obama waited too long to warn about the sequester and ended up trying to cram too much into the past few weeks.

Meanwhile, a new poll from ABC News and the Washington Post suggests that Americans support cutting the budget along the lines of the sequester except in the defence area.

The poll does not ask about the specific cuts in the sequester, but 61 per cent said they support the 5 per cent cut in overall spending, compared with only 33 per cent who were opposed. 60 per cent, on the other hand, oppose cutting the military budget by 8 per cent. Only 34 per cent support that.

A new CBS poll released Tuesday found that Americans are troubled by the sequester overall. But 38 per cent of Americans blame the sequester’s implementation on Congressional Republicans, while 33 per cent blame Obama and Congressional Democrats. That still leaves Obama in good political shape, but it likely won’t create the mass public pressure that will bring Republicans back to negotiations.

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