05/17/2013 10:29 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Second Term Hell: Obama's Dante Days in Bush-Obama America


Every U.S. president should visit a Blackjack table in Atlantic City sometime in the first term. It should happen just as they are in the middle of those Dreams From Your Ego, which promise bright new hopes if they can only win that second term. Those hopes are as real as the possibility of getting the right card on the Blackjack table after you have been dealt two eights. Do you call it quits with 16, or carry bold expectations for the next card, imagining a golden five? Does your ego lead you to totally discard the climate that confronted your predecessors in their second terms? Do you think you can win with that five and sweep a 21 -- defying recent second term history -- Watergate, Iran Contra, Monica, Weapons of Mass Destruction? Everything blows up in the second term. G.W. Bush entered his second term with a 51 percent approval rating. He ended much lower as his unpopularity laid the foundation for the Bush Obama America.

For President Obama, it is time to dodge the second term bullets that are providing hope for Republicans -- Dreams From Their Nixon. How things change? Just a few months ago, the Republican Party's identity crisis consumed Washington after the last election. The Elephants have not forgotten their problems with young voters, women, blacks, Latinos, etc. Yet Benghazi, the IRS, and AP are all they need to get by to shift the momentum. But the Republican impeachment dreams are just that -- dreams. However, these days, it is not difficult to imagine Barack Obama ending his second term with the popularity level and disgrace that colored the final days of George Bush.

Local papers throughout Bush-Obama counties offer a sense of the impacts of the crisis currently consuming the Obama administration. In San Diego County, a collection of Obama supporters and haters weigh in on the the administration.

Also, take a look at the approval ratings of two recent presidents whose popularity plummeted in their second terms, and compare them with the course that President Obama is currently charting.

Graph 1: Nixon's approval rating over time.

Graph 2: GW Bush's approval rating over time.

Graph 3: Obama's approval rating.