Team Sharpton

Before Wednesday, President Obama was viewed as someone who could bring the country together. With his entry into the debate on the arrest of Harvard Professor Henry Gates, he demonstrated that he's not the racial healer he was purported to be - instead, he revealed that he plays for Team Sharpton - which will lead to trouble for the president. Consider the latest poll from Rasmussen.
Overall, 49% of voters say they at least somewhat approve of the President's performance. Today marks the first time his overall approval rating has ever fallen below 50% among Likely Voters nationwide. Fifty-one percent (51%) disapprove.
Obama and Congressional leaders are far more liberal than voters. The faster Obama's popularity drops, the tougher time he'll have holding his party together to pass his radical proposals. Having fallen below 50% approval for the first time, the race to get things passed now intensifies. And these new numbers precede the Wednesday night introduction of the new, pre-racial Obama.
Just 25% believe that the economic stimulus package has helped the economy.
Economic issues are top of mind for voters, not health care. As time passes, responsibility for the economy shifts from Bush to Obama. That's why at his press conference the other night, the president pitched health insurance reform as critical to fixing the economy.
A new FOX News poll finds that while 49 percent want Congress to pass health care legislation this year, about the same number — 48 percent — say they want legislators to do nothing on the issue for now.
Americans realize that the White House move to socialize medicine is not designed to fix the economy - it feeds, instead, into the administration's strategy of not letting a good crisis go to waste.
Just over half of Americans (54 percent) think it is unlikely major health care reforms can be passed without increasing the federal deficit and a slightly higher number (60 percent) think it is implausible to do so without raising taxes.
Voters understand that Obama isn't looking out for them. Rather, there is an ideological template that controls his policy goals.
Furthermore, fully 79 percent think if health care legislation is passed they personally will pay more in taxes...
With the nation thinking that Obama is barking up the wrong tree with the emphasis on health care, the administration didn't need to have the media focus diffused by the press conference blunder on the Gates arrest.
Most Americans say they have health care insurance (91 percent), and a large 84 percent majority rates the quality of their insurance as excellent or good. Moreover, more than 8 in 10 (83 percent) rate the quality of the health care they currently receive as excellent or good. And if they were sick or seriously ill, most people say they would rather be in the current privately-run health care system (64 percent) than in a government-run system (19 percent).
The Gates fiasco continues to dominate the news, as NBC's Today show, among others, played it first this morning - taking up the bulk of the news on the first half hour. The White House sought to move away from the President's remarks on Gates another tiny step today. Writes Jake Tapper on his ABC News blog:
Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told a group of reporters this morning that the President regrets the “obsessive” coverage that his comment on Skip Gates has caused. “I think he would regret if he realized how much of a overall distraction and obsession it would be, I think he probably would regret distracting you guys with obsessions,” Gibbs said.
Not only that, Gibbs wouldn't rule out an apology.
Asked if he would apologize to the officer involved, Gibbs was non committal, but  did not indicate that such an apology was forthcoming. “I think the president believes and understands just how hard job law enforcement is. He has great respect for the men and women that keep us safe. I think he’s said most of what he’s going to say on it.”