It’s been a busy week for President Obama. On top of news that his administration (via the FBI) has busted up yet another domestic terrorist plot (sorry, no Muslims this time, Mr. Conservative), we got this:
Obama general counsel Bob Bauer emails lawyers and law students that the campaign is setting up an “unprecedented” new “voter protection” program — a standard feature of Democratic campaigns, but given the general enthusiasm for Obama, and the specific enthusiasm (according to my anecdotal sense) among legal types, probably on a very large scale.
Click through to read Bauer’s email.
Then there’s this:
President Obama ripped into House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Wednesday, ridiculing the Republican leader for holding a vote to affirm the national motto — but failing to vote on proposed jobs legislation.
“If Congress tells you they don’t have time — they’ve got time to do it,” Obama said at an event at the Georgetown Waterfront. “In the House of Representatives, what have you guys been debating? John, you’ve been debating a commemorative coin for baseball? You had legislation reaffirming that ‘In God We Trust’ is our motto? That’s not putting people back to work.”
Obama continued: “I trust in God, but God wants to see us help ourselves by putting people back to work.”
Yeeouch. That’ll leave a mark. I’m loving the new “naming names” Obama, aren’t you?
But, wait! There’s more! He’s also taking on the Keystone XL pipeline decision himself. The pipeline, to bring in tar sands oil from Canada and pipe it across America’s heartland, has been in the forefront for environmentalists who see it as a major step backwards in our efforts to safeguard the environment. President Obama, apparently, has those concerns firmly in mind.
President Obama strongly suggested Tuesday that he will make the final decision on whether the administration will approve the proposed Keystone XL oil sands pipeline.
His remarks come a day after White House press secretary Jay Carney appeared to put some space between Obama and the controversial project by stating “This is a decision that will be made by the State Department.”
But Obama, in an interview with a Nebraska TV station from the White House, indicated that the State Department – which is leading the federal review of TransCanada Corp.’s plan – would put the final decision in his hands.
“[State] will be giving me a report over the next several months and, you know, my general attitude is, what is best for the American people? What’s best for our economy both short-term and long-term? But also, what’s best for the health of the American people?,” Obama told KETV’s Rob McCartney.
“Because we don’t want for example aquifers . . . adversely affected. Folks in Nebraska obviously would be directly impacted, and so we want to make sure we’re taking the long view on these issues,” Obama added.
Obama said he will weigh those concerns against energy security needs when recommendations cross his desk.
“We need to encourage domestic natural gas and oil production. We need to make sure that we have energy security and aren’t just relying on Middle East sources. But there’s a way of doing that and still making sure that the health and safety of the American people and folks in Nebraska are protected, and that’s how I’ll be measuring these recommendations when they come to me,” he said.
And, finally, some fun and good polling news for the president, this one from Quinnipiac:
President Barack Obama’s job approval rating is up, from a negative 41 – 55 percent October 6, to a split today with 47 percent approving and 49 percent disapproving in a Quinnipiac University poll released today. The president has leads of 5 to 16 percentage points over likely Republican challengers.
Voters also are divided 47 – 49 percent on whether Obama deserves reelection, compared to last month, when voters said 54 – 42 percent he did not deserve reelection. […]
“President Barack Obama seems to be improving in voters’ eyes almost across-the-board,” said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. “He scores big gains among the groups with whom he has had the most problems – whites and men. Women also shift from a five-point negative to a four-point positive.
On top of that, a PPP poll in North Carolina should give Obama supporters some warm fuzzies.
The other key thing for Obama is that he’s showing little slippage with the two key groups that drove his victory in the state in 2008: he’s up 89-8 with African Americans and 64-28 with voters under 30.
Not bad for a president dealing with unemployment at record-high levels and a stagnant economy. Considering his inability to get much done thanks to the Republicans, I’d say those numbers are very encouraging.