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Cherry-picking Obama polls: McChrystal, healthcare, Arizona's Jan Brewer, Hillary Clinton, Sarah Palin

U S General Stanley McChrystal flying over Afghanistan

A new opinion survey just out reveals that 100% of incumbent presidents of the United States are extremely annoyed with Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal for his dismissive and condescending attitudes toward certain civilian members of the Barack Obama administration, as reported in the new issue of Rollling Stone.

The current Democratic president mentioned Tuesday that the U.S. commander in Afghanistan showed "poor judgment" in his comments, such poor judgment that said general was summoned to the White House this morning to explain himself, to apologize in person to those he dissed such as VP Joe "McChrystal Doesn't Need More Troops Over There" Biden and quite possibly to resign.

Which could prompt allies to rethink their troop commitments to the eight-year-old war. And would immediately start the bidding on a tell-all book by McChrystal, a spartan 55-year-old, blunt-spoken, Special Forces veteran of 34 years of military service, who sleeps four hours per night, runs eight miles each morning and eats once a day. All of which just might help save his job for now.

The only member of the Obama administration to come off well in the....

...article quoting McChrystal and aides is Hillary Clinton, now secretary of State, who until two years ago this month herself had a much different opinion of Obama's presidential qualifications.

Unexplained for now is how someone who's risen to be a four-star general in the U.S. Army, not an institution exactly free of politics, could be so inexplicably clueless as to give such intimate, lengthy access and indiscreet on-the-record quotations to a writer from Rolling Stone, a publication not noted for its foreign policy hawkishness or profound military analysis. Unless perhaps the straight-talking general wasn't being clueless.

Speaking of polls, we have a new batch of fresh-picked ones for you this morning:

The Obama healthcare bill that so divided the country during more than a year of legislative maneuvering not connected to creating jobs still is dividing Americans. The good news for Obama: A new Gallup poll finds the country about evenly-divided on the legislation's worthiness. The bad news: It's disliked by nearly two-out-of-three senior citizens, the most dedicated sector of voters.

Republican Governors Jan Brewer of Arizona and Sarah Palin of Alaska

Speaking of seniors, two new polls in Arizona indicate growing strength for two Republicans. Incumbent Gov. Jan Brewer, who was in a three-way tie with GOP primary opponents 90 days ago, has now surged to a 61% approval rating, 45 points ahead of her nearest rival.

Her approval rating among likely primary voters is 84% and 94% of those folks say the state's tough new illegal immigrant law is part of the reason.

In just the past month Brewer's popularity shot from 45% to 61% despite strong criticism from Obama and others over the law. Or perhaps because of that.

In his August Senate primary race, incumbent John McCain continues to hold a double-digit lead (47-36) over challenger ex-Rep. J.D. Hayworth, although the veteran McCain has yet to reach the 50% level seen as safer for an incumbent in an election year.

The American public may not like the news media, as The Ticket chronicled here Tuesday morning. But the public feels the media is devoting about the correct amount of coverage to the disastrous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Sixty-three percent said they're following spill news closely vs 11% who said that about some soccer tournament in South Africa.

Nearly six-in-ten voters (57%) say Hillary Clinton is qualified to be president, more than say the same about Obama (51%). Almost as many American voters (44%) say Obama is not qualified to be president even though he has been one for 17 months now.

Among possible Republican candidates, nearly as many voters find former Gov. Mitt Romney qualified (49%). Former Speaker Newt Gingrich is seen as qualified by 35% and former Gov. Sarah Palin leads the rear of the pack at 26%.

Speaking of distrust of government, a new Rasmussen Reports survey of adult Americans finds 62% believe politicians want government to have more power and money, while 58% want the government to have less of same.

Earlier this year a similar survey found barely one-in-five Americans saw government as having the consent of the governed, a requirement declared by the Declaration of Independence. A likely danger signal for incumbents leading up to the Nov. 2 midterm voting.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo: Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times (McChrystal flying over Afghanistan on his regular troop visits); Paul Connor / Associated Press (Brewer and Palin).

Comments () | Archives (10)

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obummer needs to keep his mind on the golf cours like he has been doing and leave the important stuff to the grown ups with more experience

I'm sick of this elected Congress and the President ignoring the will of the people. Who do they think they are?

It's disgusting how "in the bag" you people still are for Obama. I'd be embarrassed to call myself a Journalist or anything of the sort with the way you people "report" on things. NOBODY who is half reasonable supports your's, CNN's, and MSNBC's President.

A good case has been made that the president should fire McChrystal. While I might be inclined to agree, my problem is that so many are making that argument by referencing Harry Truman's firing of Douglas MacArthur in 1951.

The two cases aren't even close.

In 1951 at the height of the Korean War, MacArthur was advocating to the press - against the wishes of his commander-in-chef - extending the conflict by invading China. Had that happened it may have started World War III. Had the General had his way in 1951, we'd STILL be fighting in Korea.

Old Harry made a wise and courageous decision and hindsight has shown, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that he did the right thing.

Stanley McChrystal may be many things - Doug MacArthur he ain't.

Tom Degan

Remember, This the same president that thought going to Copenhagen to pitch the Olympics for his home town of Chicago was more important than dealing with the need for more troops. He blew off the General, and finally under public criticism, Obama finally gave him a few minutes on the plane.

In the General's eyes, Obama thinks the Olympics are more important than the lives of our soldiers. General McChrystal was just too happy to leave.

americans are dumb.

Depressing. The fact that the Democrats are doing so poorly doesn't make me like the Republicans any more, though. Funny, I thought the same thing when the GOP was in charge. Too bad there is not a viable 3rd party.

The high numbers for Brewer should be alarming to the WH. They won't be of course, but still...

Biden is a clown and Obama lacks leadership but the General and his staff stepped over the line.

I would like to see people who write these stories actually go live this general's life for a week.

Obama qualifications to reform health care:

"Influential" In Univ Chicago Med Ctr hiring practices

No birth certificate

Can not stop smoking

Difficulty telling the truth.

Narcissistic personality disorder.

Therefore, I Igor produce Obama Birth Certificate at

Compare Obama Care vs Igor Care at Obama vs Igor Care


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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