Mitch Perry Report 6.18.14: Obama's very rough foreign policy spring


There's a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll out this morning regarding President Obama's handling of foreign affairs, and the returns aren't very favorable. Just 37 percent approve of his handling of foreign policy, which is an all-time low in the survey, while 57 percent disapprove, an all-time high. Overall his approval ratings stand at 41 percent, tied for his lowest in that poll, and most alarmingly, 54 percent think he's unable to to lead the country and get the job done, vs. 42 percent who believe he is.

There has been a lot happening internationally that hasn't been great for the U.S., and the president is paying a price for it politically. You've got the situation with Russia annexing Crimea and continuing to threaten Ukraine, the VA hospital scandal, Bowe Bergdahl, and now the unrest in Iraq, where there is yet to be a consensus even in foreign policy circles about the best plan for the U.S. Except maybe stay out. There apparently isn't much of a desire to do that.

The New York Times reports this morning that the president is considering selective airstrikes on Sunni militants in Iraq to deal with the crisis there. Obama immediately ruled out ground troops, which as Congressman David Jolly said on Monday isn't an option anybody in Washington prefers. 

Except perhaps Marco Rubio. The Florida Senator told Politico, "I don’t think it’s wise for the commander in chief to step forward and immediately begin to rule options out. Even if he never intends to send a single American soldier, he shouldn’t be signaling that to terrorists. You should not be going around announcing what you won’t do.”

To paraphrase Seth Meyers: Really? Do you have to go there, Senator Rubio? Obama-bashing is more than a sport in Washington, and, as the numbers show, Americans are growing frustrated with how the president is handling world affairs, but that just seems like a gratuitous shot. Chalk it up to working in Washington, I suppose. 

It's not all horrible in the new poll. Two-thirds of respondents said they support the recent EPA regulations to cut emissions at coal-fired power plants. And just 14 percent of respondents blame the problems at the Department of Veterans Affairs on the Obama administration, compared with 61 percent who say VA is plagued by a longstanding bureaucracy.

Speaking of Representative Jolly, we learned the other day that the conservative-leaning lawmaker joined a bipartisan group of members of Congress a few weeks ago to support increased funding for background gun checks on ex-felons and the mentally ill.

All politics is local, as immigration activists angry at President Obama's "Deporter-in-Chief" reputation try (in vain) to get the Hillsborough Democratic Party on record to condemn the continuing raids on undocumented immigrants.....and that Pat Kemp/Mark Nash race just got a little spicier....

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