Is President Obama effective?

Updated

On Thursday, all five living presidents gathered to dedicate the George W. Bush Library in Dallas. The Washington Post used the moment to look at presidential approval ratings and found that President Obama has an approval rating of 47%–about what President Bush’s approval rating is now.

Obama is currently dealing with Syria, the gun debate, the sequester and other economic issues, and terrorism–and also with growing questions about his effectiveness.  The president’s weakness, said Bloomberg View columnist Jonathan Alter, is that he “is missing the ‘schmooze’ gene…He doesn’t like that part of politics where you have to flatter these members of Congress or CEO’s or other people. And he does it but he’s not needy himself. So their neediness and their need for the love is an abstraction to him.”

The president has recently gone on a charm offensive, dining and spending time with members of Congress. And while he lost the recent gun vote, it’s not fair to say he’s been ineffective.

His legacy, said Alter, may be defined by the Affordable Care Act–Obamacare. According to Alter, “the problem with the Republican party right now is they want it to fail. Which is not good for the American people who have a chance of really being helped by this program.”

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Is President Obama effective?

Updated