Back on Planet Earth, voters' remorse spread like necrosis across the body politic. By the end of 2009, pollster Frank Luntz observed, Obama had suffered the "the greatest fall in approval of any elected president since [the Gallup poll] started ongoing tracking during the Eisenhower administration. Obama came into office with the approval of two out of every three voters (67 percent) but ended his first year with just half the electorate (50 percent) offering a positive evaluation of his performance." By mid-April 2010, President Obama's approval rating had hit an all-time low -- dropping to 46 percent. Half the Americans polled by Gallup in the spring of 2010 said Obama did not deserve a second term. Even Amber Lee Ettinger, the hot, young YouTube star known as "Obama Girl" who famously declared her "crush" on Candidate O, confessed that she had fallen out of love: "He did create some jobs, but most of them were government jobs and that doesn't really help the middle class."
Democratic candidates in New Jersey, Virginia, and Massachusetts learned the hard way that more Obama would not translate into more public confidence or votes. Demonstrating the curse of the reverse Midas Touch, Obama campaigned in person for Jon Corzine, Creigh Deeds, and Martha Coakley -- only to watch them come crashing down respectively in the New Jersey gubernatorial race, the Virginia gubernatorial race, and the special election in the Bay State to replace the people's seat held imperially by the late Teddy Kennedy. Democratic congressional candidates ran for the nearest exit to the tune of The Police hit, "Don't Stand So Close to Me." Asked whether he wanted the president campaigning for him in California's Central Valley, Democrat Congressman Jim Costa told the newspaper: "I'm more popular in my district than the president."
At Washington, D.C.'s Union Station, the Obama souvenir shop closed after barely a year in business. Overseas, amid public disillusionment with America's former global political rock star, Indonesian officials removed "Little Barry" -- a bronze statue of young Obama to celebrate his childhood years there. "Obama is a very good man, he's a good dreamer," an Indonesian activist who led an Internet campaign against the statue told The Associated Press. "But he has no contribution for Indonesia."
Obama's signature contribution here at home, of course, has been the Chicago-ization of the Potomac. The themes of Culture of Corruption have been echoed countless times since publication by lawmakers, business owners, political dissidents, and independent watchdogs who have run directly into the Team Obama buzzsaw. Just a few weeks after the book was released, GOP Congressman Darrell Issa, ranking member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, blew the whistle on the administration's "Chicago-style politics" in manhandling Republican critics of the trillion-dollar stimulus law. Politico had reported that White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel was spearheading a "coordinated effort to jam" Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (Republican, Arizona) for calling on the government to cancel the rest of the stimulus program and return the money to taxpayers:
No fewer than four Cabinet secretaries wrote to Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer -- also a Republican -- to ask her if she agreed with Kyl that it was time to turn off the state's stimulus spigot.