In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review June 29, 2009 / 7 Tamuz 5769

Obama's popularity is fading because at some point people pay less attention to words and more to deeds

By Jack Kelly

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | It appears ABC News sold what few shards remained of its reputation for journalistic integrity for chump change. The infomercial on President Obama's health care plan ABC broadcast from the White House June 24 was a ratings bomb.

Nor did Mr. Obama's performance generate rave reviews, even from ABC: "In ABC News health care forum, Obama struggles to explain whether his proposals would force normal Americans to make sacrifices that wealthier people wouldn't face," the ABC report on the event began.

President Obama is popular. The Gallup Poll taken June 16-18 put his job approval rating at 58 percent. But his policies are not. A majority of Americans think he's spending too much money, and pluralities don't like most of the programs on which he's spending the money.

It's possible this dichotomy will continue indefinitely. But the odds are against it. Either the popularity of Mr. Obama's policies will rise toward his, or his personal popularity will fall to near that of his policies.

Health care reform is a dry subject, especially on a summer evening. But the miserable audience for the ABC infomercial could indicate Mr. Obama's personal popularity is approaching a tipping point.

Much of Mr. Obama's appeal — especially to younger voters — was his freshness and newness. He was more hip and cool than the old white guy the Republicans nominated.

But freshness has a half life, and it is endangered by overexposure. Mr. Obama talks so much and at such length voters may be getting tired of hearing from him, thinks Tom Bevan of Real Clear Politics.

"In the first five months of his presidency Obama has held three prime time news conferences, 12 formal Q&A sessions and had delivered a number of high profile policy addresses, each one amplified by extensive coverage by the media," Mr. Bevan wrote June 12. "At some point the public is going to get tired of hearing speeches from Obama, no matter how eloquent or well delivered."

Mr. Bevan is a conservative. But comedian Bill Maher, who is very liberal, made a similar observation:

"It's getting so you can't turn on your tv without seeing Obama," Mr. Maher wrote in the Los Angeles Times June 12. "I'm still a fan, but there is a fine line between being transparent and being overexposed."

His cheerleaders in the news media exaggerate how popular the president is. At 58 percent, Mr. Obama's job approval is sixth among the last eight presidents after their first five months in office, noted Mort Kondracke of Roll Call. This despite having by far the most favorable news coverage of any recent president, according to Pew Research.

An analysis of those ratings shows how ephemeral personal popularity can be. Two with higher ratings than Mr. Obama — George H.W. Bush at 69 percent and Jimmy Carter at 63 percent — were landslide losers in their bids for re-election. The president with by far the lowest rating — Bill Clinton at 39 percent — was re-elected handily.

At his news conference June 23, Mr. Obama was asked some tough questions for, really, the first time in his presidency. Michael Goodwin of the New York Daily News thinks the "unprecedentedly aggressive tone" reporters took indicates even the torrid romance between Mr. Obama and the press may be cooling.

"By peppering the president with forceful questions on Iran and other big topics and by challenging some of his slippery answers, reporters captured the changing tone in the country," Mr. Goodwin wrote. "Like the end of a real honeymoon, infatuation is giving way to a more accurate view of reality."

If Mr. Obama's popularity is fading, it's mostly because at some point people pay less attention to words, no matter how flowery, and more attention to deeds. For few will the disillusionment be as great as its been for the young Iranian-Americans who voted enthusiastically for hopenchange last fall, only to discover their champion doesn't think it applies to their friends and relatives in Iran.

But many other Americans — some on the left as well as in the center — are beginning to experience cognitive dissonance between who they imagined Barack Obama to be, and who the guy in the White House actually is.

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JWR contributor Jack Kelly, a former Marine and Green Beret, was a deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force in the Reagan administration.

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© 2009, Jack Kelly