One assessment of Obama – the importance of not being George W. Bush

One of the key constraints that any President faces is the public opinion. In a country where elections are frequent, the wrath of the public can be meted out quickly and painfully, as Obama has found with his loss of the Senate this month. Therefore the importance of public opinion cannot be underestimated – when it is against the president, it empowers Congress (see: defunding of the Iraq War in 2007), but when it is with the President, it can leave Congress weak. This balance of power is crucial to understanding US politics, so understanding the role of public opinion is also crucial and this article looks at the approval ratings of Obama compared to Bush and what Obama is trying to do to change them.