AIG Bonuses Cut Into President Obama's Support

AIG bonus scandal and Treasury's poor sale of stimulus package undercut support for President Obama.

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Pollster John Zogby joins the Washington Whispers team to regularly update our new Obamameter. Each week, Zogby will size up Barack Obama on a specific issue, his popularity, or job performance and, based on his polling results and expert analysis, come up with a rating of between 1 and 100. In this week's Obamameter, Zogby analyzes Obama's standing after the AIG scandal hit. He gives Obama 70 out of 100.

"Not a good week at all for Obama. His half-empty economic team trotted out a new push for the economic recovery package on the Sunday talk shows—only to be overshadowed by the AIG bonuses. At the very least, AIG takes the president's eyes off the ball. At worst, he looks weak and not up to the job. His problem in a nutshell: The economic crisis now belongs to him. George W. Bush is out of sight and out of mind. And while the Republicans got no game, they seem to be taking the lead on economic populism, on punishing the Wall Street evil-doers—at least until the public starts screaming for reregulation. Then the Republican message becomes 'Never mind.'

"A bad week for Obama, a bad week for government. A good week for America's new 'bonus boys (and girls),' at least until their names get published.

"Score: 70. Yes, a C minus."

Last week's rating: 82.

John Zogby is president and CEO of Zogby International, a public opinion, research, and business solutions firm with experience working in more than 70 countries around the globe. Founded and led by Zogby since 1984, Zogby International specializes in telephone, Internet, and face-to-face survey research and analysis for corporate, political, nonprofit, and governmental clients. The firm is headquartered in Utica, N.Y. John Zogby also is the author of The Way We'll Be: The Zogby Report on the Transformation of the American Dream (Random House).