President Obama did it again. Despite being head of state of the most powerful nation on the planet, he bent over to give a bow to the leader of a lesser country. Mr. Obama's latest show of fealty was to Mexican President Felipe Calderon at the G20 Leaders Summit in Los Cabos, Mexico, on Monday. His repeated bowing to foreign politicians is conduct unbecoming a president of the United States. The ostensible leader of the free world should not bow to anyone. As polls increasingly show, Mr. Obama's odds for re-election are being set back by his image of weakness.
The world is falling apart, but one wouldn't know it by the president's leisure-filled life. Mr. Obama played his 100th golf game as president over the weekend, which he somehow squeezed in between taxpayer-funded trips on Air Force One to raise campaign cash. All the while, millions of Americans are persistently unemployed, with the looming financial collapse of Europe threatening to throw the U.S. economy into a wild and dangerous tailspin. As Mr. Obama sat on his hands, the Arab Spring has turned into a nightmare marked by ascendant Islamic radicalization in the Middle East. On top of all this mayhem, the anti-U.S. bloc of incorrigible nations is unifying and becoming bolder, as evidenced by the upcoming massive, combined military exercises by China, Russia, Syria and Iran.
The American public isn't impressed with Mr. Obama's lack of leadership at home and abroad. When asked why they will vote a certain way, only 17 percent of Americans say Mr. Obama is doing a good job and deserves a second term, according to Gallup. Republican challenger Mitt Romney is leading the president by 4 points nationally, according to Rasmussen Reports. No doubt, that's largely because 52 percent of Americans don't think the economy will be stronger a year from now. Lackluster leadership hasn't impressed Barack's former admirers overseas, either. Since 2009, Mr. Obama's approval has dropped 15 points among Europeans, 24 points among Chinese and 19 points in Muslim countries, where the president only scratches out a 15 percent approval rating, according to the Pew Research Center.
The electoral map doesn't offer Mr. Obama any more comfort than the world map. In the battle for the swing states, the president is losing or neck-and-neck in many places he won handily when he defeated Arizona Sen. John McCain in 2008. Mr. Romney now is leading in Ohio, Florida, Iowa, North Carolina and Wisconsin, all of which Mr. Obama won four years ago - the last by a huge margin of 14. The president's 2-point deficit in the Tar Heel State is troubling because Democrats are holding their national convention in Charlotte, N.C., in August, which would make that important state extra-embarrassing to lose. Perhaps worst of all is an EPIC-MRA survey that shows Mr. Obama down in Michigan, a union stronghold he took by 16.5 points last time. According to Rasmussen, the Republican and Democratic standard-bearers are tied in Virginia and Colorado, which Mr. Obama won by 6 and 9 points respectively against Mr. McCain.
The show is almost over, and the curtain is about to be pulled on the Obama administration's poor performance. When November rolls around, Mr. Obama will have the opportunity to step to center stage and take one final bow.
Brett M. Decker is editorial page editor of The Washington Times. He is coauthor of the new book "Bowing to Beijing" (Regnery, 2011).
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