Credibility Gaps Are Hard to Close

Was it Lyndon Johnson or Richard Nixon who was first said to suffer from a “credibility gap”? I’m not sure; but the conventional wisdom since then has been that once an administration’s credibility is gone, it can never be regained. If that is true, Barack Obama is in deep trouble.

Scott Rasmussen finds that 50 percent of likely voters think that President Obama’s policies have hurt the economy. Only 32 percent say they have helped. Which means that Obama is in a deep hole. He is going around the country hectoring voters, threatening Republicans, and touting policies that are exactly the same as what we have seen for the last two years. The problem is that those policies have already failed, and by a wide margin, voters think (correctly) that they have made things worse, not better. So Obama is in no position to be issuing threats and ultimatums. Short of admitting that his liberal ideology was wrong from the beginning and trying something different, it is hard to see how he can regain credibility with the American people.

UPDATE: On reflection, I am quite certain that Lyndon Johnson was the first “credibility gap” president.

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