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Obama's job approval among the military is even worse than among civilians

Obama greets US troops in Afghanistan

Some ominous political news for President Obama the day after he chose Memorial Day to name a new chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff:

With just 15 months until the 2012 presidential election, Obama's overall job approval among Americans has sunk back down into the 40s.

But now a new poll of nearly a quarter-million Americans finds the commander-in-chief's job approval is even worse among members of the military, present and past.

A new Gallup poll finds that slightly more than a third of those military members (37%) approve of their commander's overall job from January of last year through April  2011.

This compares to Obama's 48% approval among nonmilitary Americans during the same period, Gallup reported.general martin Dempsey 5-11

The disapproval gap crosses all age groups. Men, especially veterans over 40, tend to disapprove of Obama more than women.

This would seem to indicate failure of this president's major public relations effort to be seen supporting veterans' affairs. On the Monday holiday the president did some business.

Obama announced he'd changed his mind about having Gen. Martin Dempsey (photo, right) as Army chief of staff. The veteran of two command cycles in Iraq had taken the top Army job less than two months ago.

Obama named him the new chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to replace Admiral Mike Mullen, who retires this fall. The president also visited Arlington National Cemetery for the traditional holiday wreath-laying and then got in some more golf.

The president, his new chairman and new secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta, have some challenges to address. Although the emphasis in Iraq has been on drawdown, nearly 50,000 U.S. troops remain there.

In Afghanistan results have been mixed, despite Obama ordering two troop surges and putting Gen. David Petraeus in command. Petraeus, who has called Afghanistan progress "fragile," is returning to replace Panetta as president george w bush greets u.s. troops in koreahead of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Then there is Obama's newest war in Libya, where allied air attacks have degraded Col. Kadafi's military, but not sufficiently to tip the balance to the untrained rebels.

Polls now show a majority of Americans do not feel the nation's longest war in Afghanistan has been worth the costs in money or lives.

Nearly 1,600 Americans have lost their lives there, including seven the other day in a single suicide bomb attack.

Last month a Gallup poll found only 41% of Americans approved of Obama's overal job performance as president. That is the fourth time he has reached that level of approval, the lowest he has incurred since taking office on Jan. 20, 2009, when his approval was 69%.

Related:

Gallup poll on standing of Republican presidential candidates

Killing Osama bin Laden: Why did Obama's poll boost sink so quickly?

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photos: Pete Souza / White House (Obama greets U.S. troops in Afghanistan); Master Sgt. Toby M. Valadie / USAF (Dempsey); Eric Draper / White House (President George W. Bush greets U.S. troops in South Korea).

 
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I can't believe it's still so high.

This is interesting but hardly relevant. I am no supporter of any of the President's policy or political philosophy - quite the opposite - but the opinion of the armed forces of their commander-in-chief does not matter, unless the armed forces are unwilling to do their duty only for those they like. The armed forces are supposed to be the apolitical servants of the nation. They are not an interest group whose politics must be courted or considered. The last thing the country needs is a politicized military.

Not good news for his Re-Election Campaign. Soldiers on the ground are directly affected by the decision of President Obama when it comes to Military accions. If our Troops have lost confidence in the policies and strategies of the President, then we, as civillians should certainly do the same.

President Obama won his election in 08 because people just wanted to belive. Like teenager, we wanted to be liked and loved. Now that we have some experience, (Obama in office for yeand & Half) we can make certain distintions that tell us maybe we goofed in 08.

This article should make us reach for the reasoning side of our brain, and away from the fantasy side of the brain.

The results of this poll are midleading because they are outdated. The polling was done BEFORE May 1 when Osama bin Laden was killed. Were the same polling done today, no doubt the results would be more in Obama's favor. FrumForum ( a conservative site) reports that according to a CNN poll just out, Obama's overall approval rating has risen to over 50 percent, especially in foreign policy and wars. Check it out.

Funny how CNN reported today that approval rating was at 55%... one of these news media outlets has it wrong..

Obama's approval rating is still a lot better than that for Congress, or for any of the republicans who want to run for President. A less biased source is available:

Opinion Research Corporation for CNN (PDF) (5/24-26, adult Americans):
Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as president?
Approve: 54%
Disapprove: 45%
Now compare this to his numbers in early April, according to the same polling firm:
Approve: 48%
Disapprove: 50%

ADM - the militaries opinion matters a LOT. Are you brain damaged?

This clown has got to know it's time to go!

Leave it to the LA Times to attribute this rejection of obama the conqueror as a military leader to a "failure of this presidents major public relations efforts". Right! They don't like him because his public relations effort isn't good enough. It has nothing to do with his tying their hands in combat, endangering them with anemic support, and his rapid fire vacations.


This was published on the last possible day that he could write "last month a Gallup poll found..", using the poll from before bin laden's takedown, by one of the two poll organizations consistently anti-Dem.

Hilarious.

ok, would you rather have McCain start another gop lie-based war for you to get killed in?

This may be true, most military types prefer leaders such as our ever truthful Bush Jr and Sr, or the budget minded individuals such as Regan. I am a retired veteran and strongly approve of Obama's job performance to date. Where we lack as a nation is our leaders in both the House and Senate who line their pockets making decisions in the best interest of our corporations and not our country or people! Much could have been done about jobs and the economic disasters Obama inherited from the last administration if our elected leaders spent half as much effort on working to fix our nations problems rather then trying to ensure Obama was going to only serve one term. My only real complaint is the the real criminals from our government were not prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law possible. That being the impeachment of Bush and Cheney for war crimes and currently possible impeachment of two supreme court justices for their violations of personal involvement and influence concerning court rulings.

[mpeach obama now

please,please impeach obama the clown.

Well let's be honest. Military personnel are less than qualified when it comes to economics, politics, etc. They pretty much think what they are told to think. Let's call them low information voters. They are much more apt to fall for GOP nonsense.

Why are you using a poll that is five weeks old to make your 'point'?

no surprise here...Obama is weak. I repeat lefties, WEAK! this naif and his fellow traveler HRC have made a shambles of foreign policy...

MOST OF US CAN REMEMBER WHEN THERE WAS THE OLD CATHODE RAY TUBES FOR TELEVISIONS AND COMPUTERS. BUT, THEN THE OLD CRT'S GAVE WAY TO THE MORE SUPERFICIAL FLAT SCREENS THAT WE SEE TODAY. THAT IS HOW WE HAVE CHANGED, ALSO. WE ARE MORE SUPERFICIAL, MORE CELEPHANE, MORE PHONEY, MORE FAKE, MORE SHALLOW, MORE FALSE, MORE LYING, MORE DECIEPTFUL. NEED I GO ON, NEED I CONTINUE, IS NOT THE IMAGE CLEAR TODAY? THEN WE SAW DARKLY OR IN PORTION, BUT, NOW, WITH THE MAN, OBAMA IN OFFICE, WHAT'S LEFT TO HIDE? WE KNOW THAT THERE IS NO LOVE LOST FOR THE LIKES OF CLARENCE THOMAS AND HERMAN CAIN, BUT, CAIN JUST MIGHT TROUBLE THE STAGNANT WATER. AFTERALL, HIS NAME IS CAIN AND WE ALL KNOW THAT BIBLICAL CAIN WAS AVENGED OF MURDER BY GOD, HIMSELF, SO CAIN MAY SPELL A BREATH OF FRESH AIR IF NOTHING ELSE, WE COULD USE EVEN THAT THESE DAYS IN AMERICA.

Why do you suppose that is - does it have anything to do with the fact that when Fort Hood happened - OBAMA jumped right in and said do not blame the MUSLIMS-even though the guy was a MUSLIM - then Obama did not Go to Fort Hood - he basically tried to ignore the whole thing. Does it have anything to do with him pushing an agenda in places that have nothing to do with national security or American interest? Does it have anything to do with the fact that he sees the military as an necessary evil and does not want to be around the military? Obama is anti-America - the military happens to be on the front line protecting America - they get in his way.

What is it about the American voter where they constantly criticise someone who is by far better than Bush in every way? I just don't understand it. The US as a country is on a slow rebound in the eyes of much of the world after 8 dissaterous years under Bush. The economy is slowly recovering and more jobs are being added to the market each month. I think Obama is great and he is well liked in Europe and across the world. If he doesn't win reelection and some fundamentalist like Palin wins all the hard work over the 4 years under Obama will quickly be undone. If so, and the country goes into a nose dive, then the only people to blame will be yourselves, the voter!

So the military is not happy with him? Why? He has kept three illegal wars going supplying hundreds of thousands with good paying jobs, free medical services, and many other benefits. So maybe they want him to start a few more illegal wars so they can get better benefits and pay?
I cannot see any reason why the military people do not like him. He gives them everything they want and more so.


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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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