Trump enters office with lowest approval rating of any recent President: 40%!

In just three days we’re going to have to choke out the words “President Trump”. And while there’s a small and deluded group of people who really do think they can prevent his taking office, I’m betting on his inauguration on Friday. (Of course, I bet about $500 that he wasn’t going to win in the first place!). At any rate, CNN reports that he’s coming into office with an extraordinarily low approval rating for a new President: only four out of ten Americans show approval. As CNN reported in an email:

Donald Trump will become president Friday with an approval rating of just 40%, according to a new CNN/ORC Poll, the lowest of any recent president and 44 points below that of President Barack Obama, the 44th president. 

Following a tumultuous transition period, approval ratings for Trump’s handling of the transition are more than 20 points below those for any of his three most recent predecessors. Obama took the oath in 2009 with an 84% approval rating, 67% approved of Clinton’s transition as of late December 1992 and 61% approved of George W. Bush’s transition just before he took office in January 2001.

 

Trump’s wobbly handling of the presidential transition has left most Americans with growing doubts that the President-elect will be able to handle the job. About 53% say Trump’s statements and actions since Election Day have made them less confident in his ability to handle the presidency, and the public is split evenly on whether Trump will be a good or poor president (48% on each side).

 

I have little doubt that many readers here share my fear about what is to come. The Congress is Republican in both houses, we’re going to have a right-wing replacement for Antonin Scalia, the President is an egomaniacal bully with no real sign that he cares about America, and, to be frank, I don’t think he’s fully compos mentis. Moreover, he’s the one man in this country who can order the deployment of nuclear weapons. 

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109 Comments

  1. Posted January 17, 2017 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    48% still think he will make a good president.

    There is a problem here. How do we address it, apart from just talking to ourselves?

    • Posted January 17, 2017 at 8:24 am | Permalink

      Ill will is growing, it looks like cross-talk is ever less a realistic option.

  2. Rita
    Posted January 17, 2017 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    I have some doubts about the numbers. Starting with Obama’s approval rate of 84%. It just doesn’t seem realistic in view of the Republican reaction to his election. So you have to wonder about all the factors that go into these results. As we learned in November, polls can be horrible wrong.

    • Martin X
      Posted January 17, 2017 at 9:37 am | Permalink

      The election polls were within a couple of percent, so that’s no justification for you to trust your intuition over polls.

      • Posted January 17, 2017 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

        I think Rita has a justification to trust her intuition over polls, because I do not remember any agency saying that the result hangs in the balance – all known to me claimed that Clinton would win. I think they must put their methodology to thorough revision.

    • nickswearsky
      Posted January 17, 2017 at 9:42 am | Permalink

      Trump won the electoral college vote within 2 percentage points of polling. Within the range of error for those polls. The national vote totals (with Clinton getting nearly 3 million more votes) were within polling norms. Trumps approval ratings based on polls are not within any reasonable error that would make him even somewhat popular. Polling error did occur in the election, but his approval ratings stink. That is no error.

    • Posted January 17, 2017 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

      Once, as I was saying that Putin is an awful leader, some young Westerners remarked that his approval rating was over 80%, far more than that of any Western leader. I told them that the normal approval ratings of democratic leaders are 40-60%, a rating over 65% is a red flag, and I don’t know ratings over 80% in any democracy. To illustrate, I pointed to them that in my country’s dictatorship past, the ruling party kept winning elections with 99% (similar to today’s North Korea).

  3. Posted January 17, 2017 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    Historically, a President’s approval ratings are highest before taking office and decrease over time. Maybe Trump will buck the trend and become a great leader. Then again, maybe there is an omnipotent god who created the universe and listens to and grants prayers. Not sure which one is more unlikely.

    • Mark Sturtevant
      Posted January 17, 2017 at 9:13 am | Permalink

      It is right to hope to be surprised. But Trump has been very clear about his true nature and general incompetency. I hope too, but am not expecting more than what we have seen over the past year +.

  4. jaxkayaker
    Posted January 17, 2017 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    Frankly, his approval rating shouldn’t even be that high, given his behavior, regardless of whether one agrees with his policies (whatever one might imagine them to be). That said, I just don’t put much stock in polls given the election polls and results.

    • Martin X
      Posted January 17, 2017 at 9:50 am | Permalink

      According to fivethirtyeight:

      …national polling averages in the final week of the campaign have missed the actual outcome by an average of about 2 percentage points.

      That’s not enough error to be suspicious of well-conducted national polls that show large differences.

  5. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted January 17, 2017 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    I hang out at a very large photography forum online where people post about that, but people also post about politics, jokes, funny videos etc. I do it because I actually learn quite a lot about photography. Many people there are old, but also very wise about that subject. But when someone posts anything that is political, boy, does the nasty come out. You will have little old ladies and retired gentlemen just flying off the handle with surprising hatred toward the liberalz and O-bam-a and how Trump is gonna fix us all reel gud. Others of a more moderate nature will try to settle them down, and well, it does not work.
    There is a deep base of conservatism in this country, and among those are people who see the poor as lazy, and the left as unpatriotic.

    • jaxkayaker
      Posted January 17, 2017 at 9:45 am | Permalink

      Conservatism comes in many flavors, but the problems we’re having stem from naïve, reactionary, irrational conservatism. Admittedly, that’s the dominant form at the moment.

    • Carl
      Posted January 17, 2017 at 10:16 am | Permalink

      Of all the words to describe Trump, “conservative” wouldn’t be on my list. The word still retains enough of its previous meaning to exclude using it on Trump.

      • darrelle
        Posted January 17, 2017 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

        No doubt about it, he suckered a sizable chunk of the self identifying conservative demographic in the US.

    • Martin X
      Posted January 17, 2017 at 10:28 am | Permalink

      ==You will have little old ladies and retired gentlemen just flying off the handle==

      People have been taught that this is the proper way to have a discussion.

      The lesson, IMO, is that all discussion forums should have trained moderators that can teach people how to have civil, productive discussions.

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/10/25/somethings-terribly-wrong-with-the-internet-and-wikipedia-might-be-able-to-fix-it/

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted January 17, 2017 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

        The lesson, IMO, is that all discussion forums should have trained moderators that can teach people how to have civil, productive discussions.

        Compuserve was brought out by AOL and disappeared. Unmoderated fora are far more profitable than moderated ones.

  6. Sastra
    Posted January 17, 2017 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    I’ll make a prediction. Trump’s Inaugural speech will consist of a few boilerplate statements about America “coming together” — rapidly followed by verbal swipes at his many enemies and haters, gleeful boasts about his campaign, his fans, and himself, and then a lot of boilerplate statements about how everything is going to be great, wonderful, and very, very special now that he’s in charge. It will go down in history not only as one of the most vapid inauguration addresses, but one of the meanest. He will use the platform to attack the people who said he wouldn’t, couldn’t, and shouldn’t win.

    This prediction isn’t as safe as it seems. There’s a very good possibility that Trump will simply follow whatever he has commissioned from “the best of the best” speech writers picked out from the sad little pool of those who will write for Trump. But it’s unlikely I think that he won’t demand input. He’ll want to include what works great at his rallies, and he’ll want to make it sound like his own work. So I’ll go with the prediction.

    • veroxitatis
      Posted January 17, 2017 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

      “great, wonderful, very, very special”. – You missed out “bootiful”!

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted January 17, 2017 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

        I hadn’t noticed Donald Smallhands channelling Bernard Matthews, turkey.

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted January 17, 2017 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

      I think it’s likely a very good prediction.

      Most presidents-elect make an effort to appeal to their opponents during the honeymoon period. Trump has made efforts to bring some Republican opponents on-side, but on on his own terms. He makes no concessions. He’s made no efforts towards Democrats.

      In fact, he’s just reiterated how thin-skinned and petty he is. While yes-men like Pence insist Trump has the right to defend himself when attacked, they should be counselling him to rise above the fray and ignore the digs. His lack of dignity is embarrassing in a leader.

      As you say, the speech will be a lot of me, me, me. Me great, me beautiful, me brilliant.

      However, the wax holding his feathers together will melt sooner or later. I just hope he doesn’t bring down the rest of the free world with him.

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted January 17, 2017 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

      Tweet: https://twitter.com/HeatherHastie/status/821542608446984192

  7. DrBrydon
    Posted January 17, 2017 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    I have a close friend who is hoping against evidence that Trump is crazy like a fox. There may be method to his madness, but I doubt that it’s the method needed for a successful president. The man is a gambler, and appears to have little self-control. He is also ignorant outside his areas of interest, none of which have previously included government or international relations. I still think there is a good chance he could be impeached his first year.

    • darrelle
      Posted January 17, 2017 at 9:39 am | Permalink

      He’s got Dunning Kruger real bad. He’s willfully ignorant. He doesn’t listen, doesn’t research because he already knows he doesn’t need to. Trust him. He knows already.

    • Posted January 17, 2017 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      “I have a close friend who is hoping against evidence that Trump is crazy like a fox.”

      Your friend must be the explanation for the 48% who think he’ll be a good president despite only 40% approving of him. Or maybe people have a different standard, when I think good I think doing good things, which would obviously mean things I approve of.

    • Taz
      Posted January 17, 2017 at 10:22 am | Permalink

      Any faint glimmer of hope I had that Trump might “rise to the occasion” has been dashed by his cabinet choices.

    • Posted January 17, 2017 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

      I don’t think, however, that Pence would be a good president.

      • Carl
        Posted January 17, 2017 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

        Pence might not make a “good” President by some lights, but I would trade him in a minute for Trump. Pence can at least present himself in public as sober, thoughtful, and informed, whether you agree with on policy or not. And if your worst case scenarios under Pence don’t pale against what you can imagine of Trump, you may not be paying attention.

        • Posted January 18, 2017 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

          More presidential; but perhaps for that reason even more dangerous.

          Pence is a Xian Dominionist.

      • Diane G.
        Posted January 18, 2017 at 1:35 am | Permalink

        Pence would be much easier for Congress, especially the Democrats, to deal with.

  8. tubby
    Posted January 17, 2017 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    I finally understand what he meant by drain the swamp. See, it’s terrible (just terrible!) that Citizen’s United brought so much money into politics. To counteract that he is cutting out the middlemen, politicians and bureaucrats, and directly installing donors and corporate representatives to positions of power in his cabinet so they can get what they want without the inconvenience of someone who cares about how governing and systems work more than profits and ideology.

  9. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted January 17, 2017 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    Funny how pretty much every picture we see of this guy is where he looks like an angry sphincter with a face painted on. Even the normal media (CNN) seems inclined to choose this sort of picture.
    Makes me smile inside.

    • bric
      Posted January 17, 2017 at 9:38 am | Permalink

      President Goatse? (Please do not Google this if you are of a nervous disposition)

      • busterggi
        Posted January 17, 2017 at 10:20 am | Permalink

        I did that back over a decade ago and my eyes have never been the same.

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted January 17, 2017 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

        Why not? Goatse.cx is a perfectly good email service. Has bee for a number of years.
        Which reminds me that I’ll probably need to pay for another 5 years service … next year or so.
        (Yes, I do know why goatse is famous. Goated more than a few people over the years myself.]

    • rickflick
      Posted January 17, 2017 at 11:54 am | Permalink

      I just went over to Fox news and see Trump portrayed heroically. Square jaw, firm expression, eyes focused on something above the horizon. I guess the image you pick depends on if you’re in that 40% or not.

  10. Nancy Holst
    Posted January 17, 2017 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    “President Trump”. You will never hear those words out of MY mouth. My anxiety has been at at an all time high. However, I have found that getting involved (which is new for me) is helping. I will be marching on Saturday in Chicago with my two daughters. Looks like the Women’s March on Chicago (as well as other cities around the country and around the world)is gathering momentum. Yeah, yeah…maybe we’re deluding ourselves.

    But, that’s where we’ll be on Saturday. Maybe some readers here will join us. I’ll be sporting REVOLUTION headband and carrying umbrella (since they are calling for some rain) that reads: GOP OMG WTF.

    (Revolution: It’s the only thing I remember from my ancient history class in college. Our professor opened each lecture with, “What is a revolution”? Of course, the students responded, “A permanent, radical change.”)

    • darrelle
      Posted January 17, 2017 at 9:43 am | Permalink

      Please allow me to offer my respect to you for your activism. I hope the Women’s March goes very well.

      • Nancy Holst
        Posted January 17, 2017 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

        Thank you darrelle. I appreciate your comment.

    • Carl
      Posted January 17, 2017 at 10:32 am | Permalink

      I can’t respect the grotesque idea that somehow Trump should be kept out of office by mass demonstrations. It’s an irresponsible death wish for the American republic and constitutional government.

      As much as I detest Trump, when I see people marching in the street shouting “not my president” I can see it only for what it is – a childish tantrum. Boo hoo, the election didn’t go your way, so subvert the lawful government.

      • Historian
        Posted January 17, 2017 at 11:44 am | Permalink

        I trust you were equally vociferous in your condemnation of those who denied that Obama was their president.

        In addition, where did you get the idea that the purpose of the march is to subvert the lawful government? Actually, you can go to this site for what the goals of the march are. You may not like the goals, but I don’t see subversion of the government as one of them. Quite to the contrary, the goal is to petition the government for redress of grievances, a constitutional right. Read the first amendment.

        https://www.womensmarch.com/principles/

        • Carl
          Posted January 17, 2017 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

          Yes, I was just as outspoken against those who claimed Obama was an illegitimate President.

          I got the “subversion” idea from the original poster, Nancy Holst, who was going on about “revolution.” Perhaps I jumped to a conclusion, and she was merely referring to “peaceful revolution.” There are some around who actually support the notion of keeping Trump from office with mass demonstrations.

          I hope others will follow your link. The agenda for the march reeks of the Social Justice Warrior mentality that is so often decried around her.

          • mikeyc
            Posted January 17, 2017 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

            “The agenda for the march reeks of the Social Justice Warrior mentality that is so often decried around her.”

            That’s the case here in Seattle where it is being called the “Womxn’s March”.

          • Posted January 18, 2017 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

            It was Trump and his followers that were calling — openly — for armed rebellion if they didn’t win.

            Which makes their criticisms of peaceful demonstrators particularly idiotic.

        • Mark R.
          Posted January 17, 2017 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

          Good answer and thanks for the link.

      • Nancy Holst
        Posted January 17, 2017 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

        Carl -The Women’s March on Chicago (as well as those in other cities) is taking place the day AFTER the inauguration. It’s not our intention to keep him out of office. That’s a done deal. I won’t be shouting “not my president”. What we’re doing is building a movement for the next election. We have to start that process now because we were asleep at the wheel this time around. I can only speak for myself; it won’t happen again.

        • Carl
          Posted January 17, 2017 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

          Glad to hear it, and I apologize for jumping to a false conclusion.

    • mikeyc
      Posted January 17, 2017 at 11:09 am | Permalink

      Good luck to you in your march. I was going to join the one in Seattle until they insisted on calling it the “Womxn’s March”, you know because reasons. Now they are arguing (screaming at each other, actually) about whether or not the march should be silent. Seriously. Arguments are everywhere – some are adamant that Women…sorry…womxn of color be in the lead at the march and that white women need to be quiet and listen. For most of the voices in the Seattle “Womxn’s March” men are not welcome, especially white men.

      This is why Trump is president.

      • Posted January 17, 2017 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

        This comment is brilliant. To tell you the truth, I didn’t believe it initially. Not that I thought you were lying – rather, I took it as sarcastic fiction based on real far-left activities. Then, I googled “Womxn’s March” and it came out!

      • rmc
        Posted January 17, 2017 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

        Most voices? I haven’t heard them… I’m joining with my girlfriend and some friends in LA, with the encouragement of a lot of people I know, male and female, who are also going. And I have a male friend in Seattle joining the march up there. I think since this is such a large group, some fringe voices are probably getting amplified by the media. I haven’t seen anything in the official statements barring or downplaying certain groups. I agree that this identity-politics infighting might screw with the overall perception (and you know that’s what the pro-trump crowd will be focusing on), but just try to ignore the crazies. It’ll be a lot more effective if more reasonable people show up.

        • mikeyc
          Posted January 17, 2017 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

          “Most voices?”

          In Seattle, yes. That was the place I was talking about.

          Your mileage may vary in LA.

  11. Posted January 17, 2017 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    I envision the Orange-Haired Orangutan being dragged out of the Oval Office by brutes in white coats holding tasers. I also envision this happening before the end of his first year in office. At the head of the removal crew will be leading members of his own party and the greater intelligence community.

    Let’s just hope it happens BEFORE he figures out how to unlock his little black suitcase. I sure hope that someone is changing the combination lock right now and refuses to hand it over.

    • bric
      Posted January 17, 2017 at 9:45 am | Permalink

      Keep this handy
      http://www.usconstitution.net/consttop_pdis.html

      “To remove a President from power, the Vice President and a majority of the department secretaries must send a message to the Speaker of the House and the President Pro Tempore of the Senate stating that the President is unable to fulfill his duties as President. Note that the majority is of “the executive departments” and not of “the Cabinet.”” there’s more to it than that, but such a move, in the case of incapacity, is possible.

      • Posted January 17, 2017 at 10:01 am | Permalink

        Thanks.

        Yea, neither our founders or anyone else could ever have imagined that a mentally deficient baboon could become el presidente’ of the USA and will have to be tasered in order to nudge him out of his office space (that I’m confident he’ll have renamed “The Twitter Room.”

        This is indeed a special problem.

        • mikeyc
          Posted January 17, 2017 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

          “On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

          -H. L. Mencken

      • Sastra
        Posted January 17, 2017 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

        Trump then would have to do something so egregious that it horrifies Pence and the rest of the Republicans. Given what they’re taking in stride so far, I’m having trouble guessing what that might be.

        If Pence is going to spearhead the effort, maybe it would involve denying the Holy Ghost.

    • veroxitatis
      Posted January 17, 2017 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

      I sincerely hope that some part of the enormous US Intelligence apparatus is charged with listening in to his every call in the same way as was almost certainly the case in the UK from 1974 to 1976 in the case of PM Harold Wilson who may possibly have had some Soviet sympathies and may have been a potential subject of blackmail by elements of the South African Intelligence machinery.
      I regret having to hope for such action. But a great deal is at stake.

      • Steve Pollard
        Posted January 17, 2017 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

        Sorry, that is fucking nonsense. Wilson had his faults but he was never remotely a Soviet agent. Your account seems to be taken from the fantasies of the late and unlamented Peter Wright (influenced by JJ Angleton), and who was described by later MI5 Director Stella Remington as “quite mad and certainly dangerous”.

        • Steve Pollard
          Posted January 17, 2017 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

          Apologies for using the “F” word. That was unnecessary.

          • veroxitatis
            Posted January 18, 2017 at 3:08 am | Permalink

            I do not believe that Wilson was a Soviet spy and am sorry if my post inferred otherwise. I am merely pointing out that some within the Intelligence Community felt it a good idea to keep Wilson under surveillance. It seems to me that with far better cause it would be sensible to keep a close ear to Trump.
            Your use of language is entirely a matter for you and our host.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted January 17, 2017 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

      I envision the Orange-Haired Orangutan being dragged out of the Oval Office by brutes in white coats holding tasers.

      Discharged tasers, I hope.
      Have a care making such comparisons to Orangutangs. Someone might take offence. And once they’ve taken the fence … well, it’s not going to be pretty.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted January 17, 2017 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

      “I envision the Orange-Haired Orangutan being dragged out of the Oval Office by brutes in white coats holding tasers.”

      Any idea where one might apply for that white-coat-and-taser position?

      You know, just in case.

      • Posted February 20, 2017 at 9:27 am | Permalink

        Sorry, I don’t at the moment, but, I promise, you’ll be the first person that I notify when I find out.

  12. Dominic
    Posted January 17, 2017 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    Did you see this?
    Darwin Day resolution in Congress
    https://ncse.com/news/2017/01/darwin-day-resolution-congress-0018433

    • Posted January 17, 2017 at 11:41 am | Permalink

      Interesting, but what do “House Resolutions” do?

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted January 17, 2017 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

        I believe that with two of them and a dollar, you’re half way to the price of a coffee.
        In Britain they’re either “Early Day Motions” or “Ten Minute Rule Bills” – and if that leave you the impression that they’re printed on easily-flushed paper, you’re probably right.

  13. Randall Schenck
    Posted January 17, 2017 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    I will be moving and have no time to watch the swearing in day – not that I would anyway. 40% is very good and he should attempt to frame it. It may be the highest he ever sees. Fear is something to have of the unknown. I think we damn well know in this case so it is more wake than fear.

  14. jwthomas
    Posted January 17, 2017 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    A sigificant plurality of the electorate will sleep through
    this Presidency, ignore the midterms, and gripe about their lives while blaming whichever political party they dislike as responsible for their unhappiness.

  15. Ken Kukec
    Posted January 17, 2017 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    I’m betting on his inauguration on Friday.

    I dunno, Jerry, given the beatin’ you took on the general election, maybe you wanna lie low on the gambling front for a bit, go out on the road, pick up some small wagers, build back your bankroll before taking another run at the big-time — that was the advice, anyway, that George C. Scott gave Paul Newman in The Hustler, when Newman’s character, Fast Eddie Felson, was keen to get back on the pool table with Minnesota Fats after his big loss.

    If I were a betting man — and I am — I might be lookin’ to get some action down, assuming the right odds, on Donald Trump’s not finishing his four-year term of office. Trump goes in with a cloud over his head — 11 million more Americans having voted against him than voted for him, and the Russian hacking scandal dogging his heels. Never mind for now about the more salacious allegations in the so-called “dossier”; if it turns out someone on Team Trump coordinated with the Russians and Wikileaks — and circumstantial evidence suggests there may have been, plus I wouldn’t put it past his former campaign manager Paul Manafort or that éminence grise Roger Stone — no way does Trump’s presidency survive, given his historic low approval rating and the unlikelihood he’ll have a traditional “honeymoon” period with the public and press. That happens, his current 40% number will plummet to nothing but the hardcore alt-right base that couldn’t care less if he shot somebody on Fifth Avenue.

    Plus, not to get too morbid about it, but the guy is 70 years old, older than any other president ever to take office for the first time (older even than that waxwork Dutch Reagan). Trump still seems pretty spry and energetic for his age, but he’s heading into a job that has aged every incumbent in memory two years for every one spent in office (and we know next to nothing about the true state of Trump’s health, given the bogus “report” issued by that flaky doctor of his).

    • darrelle
      Posted January 17, 2017 at 10:06 am | Permalink

      Regarding the stress of the job of President, I’m not sure that would be a factor with Trump. It seems like he just doesn’t give a shit.

      Then again he does give a shit about one thing. Getting the respect from others that he believes he deserves. When his approval ratings really tank and nearly everyone is making fun of him, that may indeed prematurely age him.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted January 17, 2017 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

        Dubya had something of a Alfred-E-Newman what-me-worry attitude, but the job took a toll on him, too. Check out these before-and-after pictures of recent presidents.

        It’s really noticeable w/r/t Barack: he went in lookin’ as young and sleek as an NBA point guard; he’s coming out lookin’ like he stepped off a rice box.

        • Carl
          Posted January 17, 2017 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

          You sometimes seem to be doing a Chris Mathews impression when talking about the President – just something I’ve noticed. Please refrain from using the word “tingle.”

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted January 17, 2017 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

            I don’t watch Matthews regularly. I don’t dislike him, but he’s a master of the obvious, of the received centrist wisdom (or, maybe, a hair left of the midpoint). Basically, he’s David Broder with an odd haircut and a faint Philadelphia-Irish accent.

    • kieran
      Posted January 17, 2017 at 10:16 am | Permalink

      I’m betting on a rage quit with a presidential pardon from Pence which will screw Pence at the end of the term.

      Considering how wrong I got the outcome I’m going on the road…botanist for hire will classify habitats for food.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted January 17, 2017 at 11:15 am | Permalink

        Those who do not learn from Gerald Ford are doomed to repeat him.

    • Carl
      Posted January 17, 2017 at 10:40 am | Permalink

      Maybe Trump will break William Henry Harrison’s record.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted January 17, 2017 at 11:48 am | Permalink

        Ohio boys like Harrison don’t have much of a track record for lasting in office. Of the eight Buckeyes elected, four croaked in office, and only U.S. Grant served two full terms.

        New Yorkers like Trump, OTOH, are notorious for sticking around.

        • Hempenstein
          Posted January 17, 2017 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

          I’ve had my eye on that record for some time, too, and I just counted the days off – he has to make it past Feb 21.

          And hair-splitting: I think Indiana has claims on Harrison, too. His grandson Benjamin, tho, FWIW, seems more solidly in the Hoosier camp.

          • Hempenstein
            Posted January 17, 2017 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

            Oh, and Virginia can claim WHH, too. His birthplace isn’t that far from Williamsburg.

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted January 17, 2017 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

      Hi Ken

      You’re taking the side that Trump will not complete a first term?
      Give a date to work to & what odds are you offering?

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted January 17, 2017 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

        Hi Michael,

        I don’t see the need to set an over/under date, inasmuch as it’s a straight proposition bet — either Trump will complete his term in office or he won’t.

        Seeing as how the nation’s had 57 presidential elections prior to this one, and that 9 elected presidents have failed to fulfill the terms they were elected to, the naive opening odds would be approximately 6-to-1 against Trump leaving office early.

        In my initial comment, I said I’d be willing to take take some action if the odds were right (not that I was setting odds and making book). What odds are you offering on the proposition? 🙂

        Regards,
        Ken

        • Michael Fisher
          Posted January 17, 2017 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

          Ladbrokes is offering evens on Trump to leave via impeachment or resignation in his 1st term, but that offering doesn’t cover other contingencies such as assassination, choking by inhalation of hairspray/fake tan solutions, heart attack, death by smug grin & so on.

          I would love to take the side that he doesn’t complete his term for ANY REASON at evens [we both put the same sum in the pot & winner takes all]. However if you want to take that side of the bet [that he will not complete a term] I’ll be wanting to put in half of your bet amount into the pot [one to two].

          If you’re happy with that then you choose currency & your bet amount. I’m happy to play for up to $500 or equivalent of my money [you bet $1,000], but my floor is $50 [you bet $100]

          How does that sound?

          I desperately want Trump & his entire team gone so it’s difficult to take his side in a bet, but I will! 🙂

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted January 17, 2017 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

            I saw the Ladbrokes line when I was shopping around earlier. It looks like it opened at 3-1 and has dropped to even-money since.

            Like you, I very much want to see Trump out of office. My preferred vehicle for accomplishing that would be impeachment or resignation. (I could never root for death or incapacitation, even though my patriotic instincts tell me that that would be best for the nation. 🙂 ) Given that, I’m willing to take Trump leaving office due to impeachment or resignation — “Trumpxit”? — at the same even-money odds offered by the markets.

            Let me know if you’re interested and, if so, we can discuss amounts.

            • Michael Fisher
              Posted January 17, 2017 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

              I’ll grumpily take the line that during his first term he’ll “not resign nor be impeached” @ 1 to 3

              Or 1 to 2 for “any reason”

              Evens is out of the question I’m afraid.

    • Diane G.
      Posted January 18, 2017 at 1:48 am | Permalink

      “Trump still seems pretty spry and energetic for his age, but he’s heading into a job that has aged every incumbent in memory two years for every one spent in office (and we know next to nothing about the true state of Trump’s health, given the bogus “report” issued by that flaky doctor of his).”

      And from most reports he’s a fan of junk food. (Doesn’t drink, though.) I’d almost rather see the findings of an honest physical check-up than his tax returns.

      • Posted January 18, 2017 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

        I’d much rather see the tax returns.

        We seriously need a left-leaning version of Wikileaks.

  16. Peter N
    Posted January 17, 2017 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    “About 53% say Trump’s statements and actions since Election Day have made them less confident in his ability to handle the presidency”

    I would be in the minority here, because I haven’t changed my opinion at all since election day! [That is to say, I never had the slightest confidence in Pussygrabber’s ability to handle the presidency.]

  17. jeffery
    Posted January 17, 2017 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    In my opinion, he’s already a “poor” President and he’s not even President, yet! His almost complete lack of emotional maturity alone makes him unsuitable for the job, not to mention his backpedaling on some of his most highly-touted campaign promises (which makes them not “promises” at all, but lies) and his appointment of people as dept. heads who either have absolutely no experience or who have a history of being at odds with the very departments they are to head. His financial “transition-team” looks like a list of lobbyists for a bank that he bad-mouthed for the past year. I WILL give him credit for being an excellent con-man, however.

  18. Historian
    Posted January 17, 2017 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    Marches and protests against Trump are fine, but, in the end I fear, have few practical results in terms of changing policies or electing people you like. The last election indicated to me that the Democratic leadership has been egregiously inept in winning elections, particularly on the state level. Most state legislatures are controlled by Republicans and those are the bodies that draw the congressional districts, obviously gerrymandered to favor Republicans.

    In reality, winning elections require that your message be sold to the electorate. The Republicans have realized this and developed a series of successful sales techniques. Namely, they repeat their message over and over again relentlessly with never a break. The fact that what they say are lies is a plus for winning elections when the opposition does little to counter them. I remember just days after the 2004 election I was riding in my car and by accident I turned to a radio station Sean Hannity was on. He was attacking John Kerry. I wondered why he was doing this when the election was already over. I now realize that Republicans and conservatives never let up! The Democrats must do the same. This a war for minds. The Democrats failed to actively promote the ACA and now it is in danger of disappearing. The Democrats need new leadership that has learned the lessons of the past, particularly the need for continuous action on the local and state level, without the lies. Emotionally, I am sick of Democratic and liberal passivity.

    Sean McElwee goes into more detail on what needs to be done:

    http://www.salon.com/2017/01/15/what-is-to-be-done-how-democrats-can-rebuild-and-recover-from-the-debacle-of-2016/

  19. Mobius
    Posted January 17, 2017 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    About 53% say Trump’s statements and actions since Election Day have made them less confident in his ability to handle the presidency…

    I wouldn’t say his actions have made me LESS confident, since I never had much confidence in him to begin with.

    His rhetoric, from the from the very first, made it clear to me that he was talking out of his *** and didn’t understand what was involved with being president. So, not less…

  20. jeremy pereira
    Posted January 17, 2017 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    British person here:

    I’ve heard of approval ratings, mainly through The West Wing (which is where almost all of my knowledge of US politics comes from) but how is it calculated? What question(s) do they ask the pollees to arrive at a figure?

    • mikeyc
      Posted January 17, 2017 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

      Typically pollster ask it directly; “Do you approve or disapprove of the way XXXX is handling his job as President?”.

      Historically, Kennedy had the highest overall approval rating of any president for which the poll was conducted (it began with Franklin Roosevelt) with about 71% approval.

      • jeremy pereira
        Posted January 18, 2017 at 7:46 am | Permalink

        Thanks. As a middle class liberal elite, it amazes me that there are 40% of Americans who think it’s going well for Trump at the moment.

  21. Kevin
    Posted January 17, 2017 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    The Orange Chaos Monkey may never see a majority approval. But even the finite few who support him myopically want their ‘ideal’ world, essentially White Christian America, and think he will provide this. He will fall short and at some point the base may not waver but privately be more angry than they were before.

    Times for harmony between liberals and conservatives is far away.

    • busterggi
      Posted January 17, 2017 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

      ” the base may not waver but privately be more angry than they were before.”

      And that’s when they’ll blame Obama/Hillary/the media/the gays/liberals/anyone else.

    • Posted January 18, 2017 at 11:40 am | Permalink

      In a sane world, *Clinton* would be the conservative, and someone else would have been the liberal candidate, and someone else again democratic socialist, etc.

  22. Posted January 17, 2017 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    That picture says volumes about what Trump thinks of the people. He just used the wrong finger.

  23. Barbara Radcliffe
    Posted January 17, 2017 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    I do wish that commentators would refrain from describing him as a baboon, orangutan monkey or so on since such a description is insulting to the animals. Only a human is capable of his attitudes, statements and actions.

  24. Hempenstein
    Posted January 17, 2017 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    Approval number I saw somewhere yesterday was 37%. That would mean that something approaching 25% of the people that voted for him have now changed their minds. In this case, better late than never is of little comfort.

  25. Steve Pollard
    Posted January 17, 2017 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    From this side of the Atlantic, the prospect of a Trump presidency looks nearly as scary as it does on your side. I say “nearly” only because some of his appointees (Defense, maybe Sec of State) who might impinge on us appear less awful than others (EPA, Education).

    You have probably seen that he gave a lengthy interview to the (London) Times the other day. The overriding impression he gave was of someone who has little ideology or fixed political convictions, but is solely interested in “business” “deals”. Given that we are all stuck with him for four years (I give the impeachment option very little chance), what is the best way of getting him to focus on deals that benefit the many and not the few? Maybe not impossible, given the contempt he seems to have for many Republicans.

    Actually, having just written that, maybe it is impossible. Sorry.

  26. Posted January 17, 2017 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    Unsurprisingly, if no one mentioned it, Trump is labeling this a combination of either “fake news”, or polls coming from the same people who said he was going to lose the election. So anyone who may have had any wild expectation that this might cause him to act in a way that might encourage people to be more approving can give up that ghost.

  27. Jonathan Dore
    Posted January 17, 2017 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    “About 53% say Trump’s statements and actions since Election Day have made them less confident in his ability to handle the presidency”

    I don’t understand. What could possibly have happened since election day that was not already abundantly, voluminously clear before it?

    • Kevin
      Posted January 17, 2017 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

      Trump’s sexism and racism are ok with lots of folk. They did think he was clever, or at least competent. Now that ship has sailed.

      Even I sort of thought Trump was just playing a game. There is no game: he is shallower than a one molecule deep pond.

      • rickflick
        Posted January 17, 2017 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

        “shallower than a one molecule deep pond”

        I think the correct term would be a minimal deposition.

  28. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted January 17, 2017 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

    Well, so far, Trump has killed the TPPA and told the spooks to f*ck themselves, both things which I as a lefty thoroughly approve of. Gotta love the irony.

    Of course, his reasons for so doing are debatable.

    cr

  29. somer
    Posted January 18, 2017 at 12:38 am | Permalink

    Dont worry. The inquisitorial team of Foucault readers at the inauguration will turn him into a puff of smoke using their laser like insights.

    https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2017/01/16/anthropology-groups-organize-foucault-read-inauguration-day#.WHz7LTrsxlI.twitter

  30. Jay
    Posted January 18, 2017 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    Same pollsters who said Hillary would win.


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