Two years ago, Barack Obama was the political equivalent of Elvis Presley — rolling into towns across America, performing before adoring crowds. Like the King, then-Sen. Obama relished the adoration and gave the crowd a great show. I saw it myself in New Hampshire.
But now everything has changed. President Barack Obama is not welcome in many parts of the country. Even some members of his own party don’t want to be seen with him. It’s so bad that Joe Manchin, the Democratic governor of West Virginia who is now running for the U.S. Senate, actually put out a TV commercial where he takes a rifle and shoots a hole into paper explaining ‘‘cap and trade’’ legislation.
Obama, a deeply sensitive individual, must be asking himself what the deuce is going on. How could things change so quickly in 24 months? Of course, the bad economy is the major reason for his fall, but that doesn’t fully explain the extent of the president’s problems.
The New York Times, a flea market of liberal activism, is chalking up Obama’s decline to the stupidity of the American people. A recent Times editorial put forth: ‘‘Insurgent Republicans don’t need details when they can play on the furious emotions of voters who have been misled into believing that positive changes like the health care law are catastrophic failures.’’
Yeah, that’s it. The majority of Americans are being ‘‘misled’’ by some mysterious force that comes in the night, planting anti-health care thoughts in their brains.
In case the Times hasn’t noticed, the American media remain solidly liberal and continue to give Obama the benefit of many, many doubts. If you don’t believe me, just compare the coverage of Hurricane Katrina to that of the BP oil spill. Both were handled poorly by the feds. But the media hysteria over Katrina dwarfed any coverage of the greatest environmental disaster America has ever experienced. President Bush was vilified beyond belief for Katrina. Obama was mildly criticized for BP.
The Times did get one thing right, though: Many voters are furious. That’s because their health care premiums have gone through the roof and they feel insecure in the workplace. My own health insurance premium went up by $2,100 this year. Why? Because the insurance company is gouging customers to stockpile cash in order to pay the increased cost of Obamacare. Did the Democrats mention that would happen? I do not believe they did.
Thus, the perception right now is that the unintended consequences of Obama’s big spending, big government agenda are not good. That is not a misleading indicator; it is the truth. That’s how most Americans genuinely feel.
It should be noted that Elvis had a fallow period, too — after the Beatles stormed America and changed pop culture. But the E-man made a big comeback based upon his talent and charisma.
No doubt Obama believes that comeback formula will work for him, as well. I’m not counting him out in the long run, but for now, he is living in the Heartbreak Hotel.
Veteran TV news anchor Bill O’Reilly is host of the Fox News show ‘‘The O’Reilly Factor.’’ Visit his website at www.billoreilly.com.