Health Care Bringing Wrong 'Change' for Obama?

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President Obama's approval ratings have taken a nose dive because of concerns about health care reform.

The situation in Afghanistan is also proving to be problematic.

During the presidential campaign, Obama talked about "change you can believe in," but the president's lower approval numbers are the change he needs.

"There was this great good will we saw with President Obama," said presidential historian Mark Updegrove.  "It was bound to decline, given the enormous burdens he faced as president shortly into his term."

The president has seen his approval rating fall more steeply than any other newly-elected president in modern history.  When Obama started his term in January, his approval rating was at 68 percent. Now it's at 50 percent.  Among independent voters-- a key voting block for Obama-- the news is even worse.  Only 43 percent approve of the job he's doing.

On health care, 60 percent of Americans say the president hasn't clearly explained his health care reform plans. Even Democrats say so.

"I think the president's got to decide in a sense... and to step up and really frame this again for us," said Sen. Chris Dodd.

"Frankly, the president and the White House have not done a stellar job on messaging this," Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-NY, agreed.

Health care isn't the only political albatross lurking.

The war in Afghanistan also has many wondering if it's even winnable. Prominent conservatives like George Will want to pullout

"There is a risk, but there's a clear risk in doubling down in Afghanistan," he said.  "If we're looking for a risk-free option, we are going to be disappointed."

Some 54 percent of Americans think the U.S. isn't winning the war and 56 percent are against sending more combat troops.

The problem for the president is two-fold.  He's got a liberal base while anti-war liberals in Congress want to get out, event threatening to become very vocal about it when they return to Congress next week.

Still, the president has made it clear that he's not leaving Afghanistan any time soon.

"We need more resources in Afghanistan," Obama said.  "America must no longer deny resources to Afghanistan. This is not a war of choice. This is a war of necessity."

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CBN News
David Brody

David Brody

CBN News Chief Political Correspondent

David Brody is an Emmy Award-winning veteran news journalist who has interviewed many prominent national figures during his career of nearly 25 years. Currently, David covers the White House and interviews national newsmakers across the country.  Follow David on Twitter @TheBrodyFile and "like" him at