November 26th, 2012
09:55 PM ET

Letters to the President #1407: 'New polls'

Reporter's Note: President Obama is evidently not going to be given much time to savor his re-election victory. So I hope he can find time to savor today’s letter from me.

Dear Mr. President,

I imagine as soon as the election was over you hoped you’d seen the last of polls for a while, but I guess that is not the case. I’m looking over our most recent poll here at CNN, and I must say it is daunting.

To put it simply, most people in the country are happy you were re-elected, most think things will slowly improve, but the enthusiasm and confidence are nowhere near where they were after your first election. Back then, 76 percent of Americans thought you’d make things better in your first four years as President. That’s a pretty whopping number. Think about it: For that to happen, significant numbers of people who didn’t even vote for you had to say they were willing to give you a real chance.

Now, just 56 percent think you can make things better before you leave office. That’s a majority, yea, but not much of one. People just don’t have much faith.

You can’t blame them. I think in your private moments even you will admit that your first term has not played out the way you predicted. Unemployment remains much higher than you promised. The economy is creeping…not racing…toward better days. And American confidence remains anemic.

So how do you turn that around? Well, part of it involves waiting. I’m fully convinced that the economy is so much bigger than any president that you can only do so much…and then you must wait for the earth to spin. Even your best ideas will take a very long time in this environment to produce any results. Secondly, you have to keep trying for solutions…and yes, that probably means working with, not merely against Republicans, no matter how obstinate you may find them. And lastly, you have to keep reminding people to have faith….even when they don’t want to.

Anyway, I’m sure you’ll see plenty more rough polls over the next four years, so you may as well get used to them. Until everyone starts feeling better, I don’t think they’ll be giving you the numbers you might want to feel good about yourself.

Call if you can.


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