WASHINGTON – For the first time in years, more Americans than not say the country is headed in the right direction, a sign that has used the first 100 days of his presidency to lift the public's mood and inspire hopes for a brighter future.
Intensely worried about their personal finances and medical expenses, Americans nonetheless appear realistic about the time Obama might need to turn things around, according to an Associated Press-GfK poll. It shows most Americans consider their new president to be a strong, ethical and empathetic leader who is working to change Washington.
Nobody knows how long the honeymoon will last, but Obama has clearly transformed the yes-we-can spirit of his candidacy into a tool of governance. His ability to inspire confidence — Obama's second book is titled "global economic meltdown and countless domestic challenges........" — has thus far buffered the president against the harsh political realities of two wars, a
So far, Obama has defied the odds by producing a sustained trend toward optimism. It began with his election.
In October 2008, just 17 percent said the country was headed in the right direction. After his victory, that jumped to 36 percent. It dipped a bit in December but returned to 35 percent around the time of his inauguration and has headed upward since.
Obama is keenly aware that his political prospects are directly linked to such numbers. If at the end of his term the public is no more assured that Washington is competent and accountable and that the nation is at least on the right track, his re-election prospects will be doubtful.........