Obama Bottoms Out

By MICHAEL FALCONE ( @michaelpfalcone )


  • 'THE BOTTOM OF THE POPULARITY BARREL': Some bad news for President Obama this morning: A new Quinnipiac poll out today shows 33 percent of American voters believe President Obama is the worst president since World War II, ABC's SHUSHANNAH WALSHEnote. Another 28 percent pick President George W. Bush. The survey finds 35 percent of voters say Ronald Reagan was the best president since WWII followed by 18 percent for Bill Clinton and 15 percent for John F. Kennedy. As for the president's job approval rating it is 40 (approve) to 53 percent (disapprove), just about the same as his December 2013 all-time low of 38-57 percent. On the issue of competency, voters say 54 to 44 percent that the Obama Administration is "not competent running the government." Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll, points out: "Over the span of 69 years of American history and 12 presidencies, President Barack Obama finds himself with President George W. Bush at the bottom of the popularity barrel."
  • WHAT IT MEANS: This survey is terrible news for the president and even 2014 Democrats as their GOP opponents lump them all together, WALSHE notes, but as we are deep into the summer most Americans won't pay attention to 2014 until after Labor Day and that may be a sliver of good news for Dems. FULL RESULTS: http://bit.ly/1qQ4vdm
  • RECONSIDERING ROMNEY? According to the Quinnipiac survey: "America would be better off if Republican Mitt Romney had won the 2012 presidential election, 45 percent of voters say, while 38 percent say the country would be worse off. Missing Mitt are Republicans 84 - 5 percent and independent voters 47 - 33 percent, while Democrats say 74 - 10 percent that the U.S. would be worse off with Romney." http://bit.ly/1qQ4vdm


ABC's RICK KLEIN: Does President Obama need to break out the binders? (Or just find a briefing book with some new talking points?) Women on the White House staff make 13 percent less than the men - the same pay gap that existed in Obama's first year in office, according to a Washington Post analysis of newly released payroll data. You may recall the president's oft-cited statistic that "the average full-time working woman earns just 77 cents for every dollar a man earns." Would 87 cents on the dollar constitute substantially less of - to use his term - "an embarrassment"? All sorts of qualifiers are necessary on the White House data, including the important fact that more men hold higher-paying senior posts and more women occupy lower-paying junior posts. But the same kinds of qualifiers are equally applicable to the national data the president is fond of citing. Perhaps the most stubborn factor in the pay gap is the fact that women on average have less seniority because they have children and are more likely to leave the workforce to care for them. None of this suggests that gender pay equity isn't a real problem. But neither does it suggest that it's easy to address - or else the White House's own gap would at least be narrowing, presumably. http://wapo.st/1qkwMt1



OBAMA KNOCKS DO-NOTHING REPUBLICANS: 'SO SUE ME.' President Obama pulled no punches, and even offered a few jokes, in his attack of House Republicans for failing to take action on legislation including the depleted Highway Trust Fund, according to ABC's SERENA MARSHALL. While standing on Washington, D.C.'s Key Bridge yesterday he said he will continue working on his own to help the middle class and if Congress doesn't like it "sue me," he said referring to the lawsuit threatened by Speaker John Boehner over Obama's administrative actions. Obama called on congress to rally behind the idea of "economic patriotism" and stop trying to "score political points" by gridlocking Washington. "Sue me," he said referring to the lawsuit threatened by Speaker John Boehner over Obama's administrative actions. "Middle-class families can't wait for Republicans in Congress to do stuff. So sue me," he said to laughter. "As long as they're doing nothing, I'm not going to apologize for trying to do something." http://abcn.ws/1jHgSTV

'DUCK DYNASTY' KIN READIES FOR 'KISSING CONGRESSMAN' IN HOUSE RACE Call it a primary season plot twist for the "Duck Dynasty" clan. Although he's now running against the "kissing Congressman" for Louisiana's 5th Congressional District seat, "Duck Dynasty" relative Zach Dasher wants to keep his GOP primary campaign about "ideas, and not people," ABC's BENJAMIN SIEGEL reports. "This race is not about personality," Dasher said. "We need to be discussing ideas, and not people." Rep. Vance McAllister, who became known as the "kissing Congressman" after leaked video footage from his district office showed his kissing a married staffer, said in April that he would not seek re-election. But the incumbent reversed that decision Monday, setting up a showdown between the freshman lawmaker, who was endorsed by "Duck Dynasty" stars Phil and Willie Robertson in his 2013 race, and Dasher, a 36-year old businessman whose mother is Phil Robertson's sister. According to Dasher, nothing has changed since he first told ABC News he expects "110 percent" support from his relatives. http://abcn.ws/TMtceK

MICHELLE OBAMA: THERE IS NO CRACK IN WHITE HOUSE PIES. President Obama joked Monday night at an LGBT event that the White House pastry chef's pies are so good - well, they must have crack cocaine in them. But first lady Michelle Obama had no taste for the president's not-so wisecrack, notes ABC's SERENA MARSHALL. Here's how it went down:

THE PRESIDENT: He's - this is the problem. We call Bill [Yosses] the "Crustmaster" because his pies - I don't know what he does, whether he puts crack in them, or …

THE FIRST LADY: No, he doesn't. There is no crack in our pies.

THE PRESIDENT: I'm just saying that when we first came to the White House, I don't know if some of you remember this - the first year, like, my cholesterol shot up. And the doctor was like, what happened? You had like this really low cholesterol. You were really healthy. And I thought, it's the pie. It's the pie. So we had to establish like a really firm rule about no pie during the week.

-THE DELICIOUS BACKSTORY: Executive pastry Chef Bill Yosses said in March that he would be leaving the White House in June to move back to New York where he will give up his sweet ways for a healthier table. Telling the New York Times "it's a bittersweet decision," he plans to teach children and adults about eating better. President Obama has always loved pie. Last year for Thanksgiving, Obama had nine pies, up from his usual six. Time will tell if the new chef can handle the pie requirements of the Obama family. Yosses first came to the White House under President George W. Bush in 2007. http://abcn.ws/1lw34eD


WHO MAKES THE MOST, LEAST AT THE WHITE HOUSE. The annual list of who makes what at the White House is out. It's been a requirement since 1995 for the White House to alert Congress of the salary of presidential staffers. So, let's take a look what the 457 employees of President Obama (who makes an annual salary of $400,000) rake in every year. Cost of living in DC is about 22 percent higher than the national average, with the annual average income around $45,000 compared to $28,000 nationally, according to the latest census. $172,200: 22-of Obama's staff make the "big bucks." This salary goes to folks with the title "assistants to the president" and they all normally have a second title (although the additional title does not mean additional salary.) For example, Senior Adviser Dan Pfieffer; Press Secretary Josh Earnest; Cecilia Muñoz director of Domestic Policy Council; and Counselor to the President John Podesta. $42,420: And our friends in lower press - those wranglers - who escort the White House press corp around, make the lowest. They are responsible for taking networks into events, managing the media and received their first pay increase since Obama took office this year. A 1 percent raise was issued for all of the federal government this year under an executive order signed by the president in December. http://abcn.ws/1pTFEE4


OBAMA'S WORLD CUP CHANT. The commander-in-chief knows how to rally the troops for Team USA despite their loss to Belgium yesterday. President Obama joined White House staffers at a World Cup viewing party in the East Executive Office Building yesterday, and he led them in a rousing chant. "I believe, I believe, I believe that we will win," Obama chanted, pumping his fist as the crowd cheered and snapped pictures, according to ABC's ERIN DOOLEY and SERENA MARSHALL. "I was worried if I walked in and Belgium scored, I'd be in trouble," the president joked. http://abcn.ws/1olNaYH

SOCCER BALL DIPLOMACY. Although the U.S. team was eliminated yesterday, they proved that there's still something almost everyone in Washington can rally behind, ABC's SCOTT WILSON notes. When the Americans faced off against Belgium, everyone from John Boehner to Nancy Pelosi flocked to social media to show their support. The hard-fought match culminated in a 2-1 victory for Belgium, but for one 120 minute period of time Republicans and Democrats alike seemed to agree on a singular sentiment- #IBelieve. Secretary of State John Kerry piped in as well-showing off his customized USA jersey on twitter. Kerry traveled to Panama Tuesday, meeting with leaders from Central America to discuss the recent surge of unaccompanied minors migrating to the United States. And this isn't the first time Secretary Kerry has brought his soccer ball with him to work. Back in March, Kerry met with Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov to discuss the escalating crisis in Ukraine. The two diplomats were photographed kicking around a soccer ball at the American Ambassador's residence in London. http://abcn.ws/1vtIq4g


@HillaryClinton: Stopped by @HudsonBooks at JFK before my flight to London. We're taking the #HardChoices book tour across the pond! pic.twitter.com/0xjk8DEmp5

@RyanGOP: Happy 75th Birthday, Gov John Sununu. #nhpolitics

@HotlineJosh: Could Dan Maffei get caught by surprise AGAIN in another GOP wave year? http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2014/07/john_katko_reports_best_fundraising_quarter_in_race_against_rep_dan_maffei.html …

@rickklein: not giving up, McDaniel sends fundraising appeal re challenging #MSSEN results: "The problem is that court cases are expensive…" #14for14

@DWStweets: The anniversary of the Civil Rights Act is less a celebration than a call to action. Here's what we have to do: http://www.democrats.org/news/press/dnc_chair_statement_on_the_50th_anniversary_civil_rights_act …