- The Washington Times - Monday, November 25, 2013

President Obama’s downfall continues, with Monday poll numbers showing Americans don’t trust his statements, don’t believe in his ability to lead and don’t even find his personality anything to brag about any longer.

Only four of 10 Americans think the president is an effective leader, CNN said. Fully 53 percent think he’s dishonest, untrustworthy — the first time a clear majority thought this about the president. And perhaps worse, given this was the president’s strongest asset: Fifty-six percent say they don’t even admire him as a person any longer.

More results: 56 percent say he doesn’t exactly inspire confidence,  and 53 percent don’t see him as a strong or decisive leader. What’s most significant about these numbers is that they’re firsts for Mr. Obama in CNN polls. Six months ago, for example, 52 percent thought Mr. Obama was an effective leader of the federal government.

“A lot of attention has focused on the president’s numbers on honesty in new polling the past three weeks, but it looks like the recent controversy over Obamacare has had a bigger impact on his status as an effective manager of the government, and that may be what is really driving the drop in Obama’s approval rating this fall,” CNN polling director Keating Holland said, in CNN.

And just how big a deal is honesty, anyway?

“Just ask Bill Clinton, whose overall approval ratings remained high during and after the Monica Lewinsky scandal because three-quarters of all Americans thought he could get things done, even though only about one in five said he was honest,” Mr. Holland said, in CNN.

One bright spot for Mr. Obama: Seven of 10 respondents said he’s still likable. But even that strong showing comes with a caveat.

That seven-in-10 figure is actually a drop in this category, Mr. Holland said, in CNN.

“It’s clear that views of Obama as a person — once his strong suit — have taken a hit in October and throughout 2013,” Mr. Holland said, CNN reported.

The poll spanned Nov. 18-20 and involved 843 adult Americans who responded by telephone. The sampling error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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