April 21, 2014
April 18, 2014
Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology
The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious
: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain
April 14, 2014
Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time
: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic
: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships
: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin
: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate
: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure
April 11, 2014
Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden
: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does
: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer
: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You
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
: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau
: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease
April 8, 2014
Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease
Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear
April 4, 2014
A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children
Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet
Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds
Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves
April 2, 2014
Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?
Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities
It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene
Jewish World Review
August 16, 2010
/ 6 Elul, 5770
For Michelle Obama, extravagance dents popularity
After a widely admired start in the White House, first lady Michelle Obama's popularity is falling and, if the current downward trend in her approval ratings continues, could touch lows not seen since the scandal-tainted days of Hillary Rodham Clinton.
In the new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, 50 percent of those surveyed say they have a positive opinion of Mrs. Obama. That's down from 64 percent in April 2009 and 55 percent in January of this year. The first lady's positive rating is barely ahead of her husband's personal approval figure, which stands at 46 percent in the new poll.
The survey was taken from Aug. 5-9, which happened to coincide with Mrs. Obama's vacation in Spain, where she, along with daughter Sasha and several friends, stayed in a posh five-star resort. It was a luxurious getaway for the first lady of a nation with nearly 10 percent unemployment and widespread economic anxiety, and it fed an image of extravagance that Mrs. Obama has created by, among other things, patronizing chichi restaurants and wearing $775 boots to break ground at her White House garden. A new name -- "Michelle Antoinette" -- was born.
The first lady's falling numbers stand in opposition to the still-strong belief among some Washington political insiders that she will be a big asset for Democrats on the campaign trail this fall. After the Spain trip brought the first extended bad press of her time as first lady, the White House, and some of its allies in the press, pushed back by claiming Mrs. Obama will still be much in demand. News accounts suggested her "sky-high popularity," her role as "cultural and fashion icon" and her "incredible force" will boost Democrats across the country. Now, with the Wall Street Journal/NBC numbers, that's not so clear.
Mrs. Obama's ratings are decidedly different from predecessor Laura Bush. In December 2001, as George W. Bush's popularity soared after the 9/11 attacks, Mrs. Bush's positive rating stood at 76 percent in the Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll. Nearly four years later, in 2005, it was 65 percent. Still later, when President Bush's job approval rating hit bottom, Mrs. Bush fell briefly to 54 percent -- still above where the current first lady is today.
Even after Mrs. Obama's European vacation, some former Bushies are slow to criticize the first lady. "I defended her on her trip to Spain because the first wave of anger was about the cost of her friends' travel expenses, which wasn't the case," says former Bush White House press secretary Dana Perino. "But then I realized -- and I was surprised by how strong it was from the Left -- that people were mad about the appearance of it. And I don't think that's about her trip in particular. I think people seized on the trip to channel their more general anger and frustration with the administration's policies and approach."
Perino is probably more understanding than the public as a whole. In the coming campaign, Mrs. Obama's expensive tastes invite the charge that the Obama White House, with its fondness for Wagyu beef, glitzy parties, and celebrity hobnobbing, is out of touch with regular people. That can hurt at a time when 66 percent of those surveyed in the new poll believe President Obama has fallen short of their expectations for dealing with the economy.
Where do Mrs. Obama's ratings go from here? The White House is certainly hoping she won't end up in the territory last occupied by Hillary Rodham Clinton, who began her time in the White House with a 57 percent positive rating but quickly fell into the 40s after the Travelgate scandal and into the 30s with the Whitewater investigation.
The administration is also hoping Mrs. Obama doesn't get an extended version of the treatment handed to first lady Nancy Reagan. There's no comparable polling from that era, but during the economic downturn of the early 1980s Mrs. Reagan's image was hurt by relentless criticism from the press. The New York Times lashed out at her for "exercising her opulent tastes in an economy that is inflicting hardship on so many."
Back then, the pundits didn't hit Mrs. Reagan for the mere "appearance" of extravagance. So far, Mrs. Obama has mostly escaped that kind of searing criticism. But one more lavish outing and nobody will be talking about her as the White House's best asset.
Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.
Comment on Byron York's column by clicking here.
08/09/10 Obama's zealous civil rights enforcer gets busy
08/02/10 A battle between Left and Right --- inside the GOP
07/26/10 GOP spoiling for fight over Berwick appointment
07/20/10 How long will the public tolerate Afghan war?
07/12/10 NASA's Muslim outreach: Al Jazeera told first
07/02/10 Legal complaint against Gore is detailed, credible
06/28/10 Obama and Dems heading for electoral disaster
06/21/10 Who told Obama drilling is absolutely safe?
06/14/10 Billions for green jobs, whatever they are
06/07/10 Sestak a no-go for any job. So what was the deal?
05/31/10 As economic worries worsen, White House puts on the glitz
05/25/10 GOP dilemma: Fight Kagan, or go along?
05/11/10 Enforcing nation's immigration laws would be a bargain
05/03/10 How Obama could lose Arizona immigration battle
04/27/10 What's behind the anti-Tea Party hate narrative?
04/20/10 As government expands, beware the post-office example
04/19/10 Who wins in 2010? Good luck reading tea leaves
04/12/10 GOP Obamacare strategy: Try repeal, then cut
04/05/10 Obamacare was mainly aimed at redistributing wealth
03/30/10 Message to Dems: People still don't like Obamacare
03/23/10 The coming consequences of Obamacare
03/16/10 Marco Rubio and the Republicans who love him
03/15/10 GOP hopes town halls take health care off table
03/08/10 Dems turn risky health vote into manhood contest
03/01/10 Why Obama defies the public on health care
02/22/10 South Carolina mulls 2012: Romney? Palin? Huck?
02/16/10 GOP winning war over Miranda rights for terrorists
02/09/10 Who are the 300 terrorists held in U.S. prisons?
02/02/10 Is Obama dissatisfied with being president?
01/19/10 The Republican dilemma: Good Michael or Bad Michael?
01/12/10 Now the lawmakers are figuring out what they didn't know
01/05/10 GOP deserves blame for Democratic excesses
12/29/09 Dems' dreams of a blue West begin to turn red
12/22/09 Why Dems push health care, even if it kills them
11/30/09 Dems' kamikaze mission: Health care by New Year's
11/23/09 Why it's a mistake to bring Gitmo prisoners here
11/16/09 Dems' slick fix: $210 billion of fiscal restraint
11/10/09 Obama can't be community organizer for the world
11/02/09 At key moment, Obama leaves health post unfilled
10/26/09 Fierce urgency' for jobs, not health care
10/12/09 Facts hurt Jennings in youth sex controversy
10/05/09 Amid terror threat, Dems chip away at Patriot Act
09/27/09 In Afghanistan, let U.S. troops be warriors
09/21/09 Under fire, Democrats abandon ACORN in drove
09/14/09 Dems stifle Republican health care plans
09/08/09 For Dems, a serious Charlie Rangel problem
09/07/09 Obama's speech: Wrong setting for a sales job
09/01/09 What happened to the antiwar movement?
08/24/09 Why Dems may jam through health care plan
08/17/09 GOP thinks the unthinkable: Victory in 2010
08/10/09 The empty words of a journalist turned flack
08/03/09 Probe finds new clues in AmeriCorps IG scandal
07/27/09 Obamacare haunted by unkept promises of stimulus
07/20/09 Why the GOP failed the Sotomayor test
07/13/09 What the GOPers will ask Sotomayor
06/29/09 Serious questions remain for Mark Sanford
06/22/09 How GOPers can crack the AmeriCorps scandal
06/16/09 Worried about Sotomayor? Consider Andre Davis
06/08/09 Can Mitch Daniels save the GOP?
06/01/09 When the Dems derailed a Latino nominee
05/26/09 Why the GOP will defeat Obama on healthcare
05/19/09 Rosy report can't hide stimulus problems
05/12/09 The Reagan legacy is the man himself
05/05/09 Sen. Specter, meet your new friends
04/27/09 Ted Olson: ‘Torture’ probes will never end
04/20/09 Who's Laughing at the Axis of Evil today?
04/14/09 Congress needs Google to track stimulus money
04/06/09 Beyond AIG: A bill to let Big Government set your salary
03/30/09 On Spending and the Deficit, McCain Was Right
03/24/09 It's Obama's crisis now
03/17/09: Geithner-Obama economics: A joke that's not funny
© 2009, NEA