Conceding that, perhaps, a bit of the gloss has come off his presidency, President Barack Obama is telling congressional Democrats to run, run as fast as they can away from him as they seek to survive his reign of error.
From U.S. News & World Report's Kenneth T. Walsh:
President Obama has delivered a humbling message to fellow Democrats: He admits he is unpopular in much of the country and will understand if legislators don't want to appear with him on the campaign trail.
Obama made the remarks in a private session with Senate Democrats Wednesday. "He said he knew he is not popular in some of the states so he would not be offended if he were not invited to visit them this year," a senator told the Washington Post. "But he said he could be helpful in some parts of some states." The senator requested anonymity in order to discuss the private meeting candidly.
Unpopular is right. Gallup says that 50 percent of Americans disapprove of the president's performance in office, while only 41 percent approve (his numbers were even worse a few months ago). CNN/ORC also has disapproval at 50 percent. The RealClearPolitics average of polls stands at 51.8 percent disapproval and 43 percent approval—a precipitous fall from the heady days when President Obama was first elected and Americans were hopeful that he might not suck at the job. Now, even though most Americans tell CNN/ORC that they wish the president the best, 56 percent think that his policies will ultimately fail.
The "will" before "fail" presumably refers to those policies that haven't already failed.
As a result, generic congressional preference polls, as little as they're worth, currently give the edge to Republicans.
Presidents often prove to be deadweight on their parties, once reality sets in—Barack Obama isn't unique in this regard. George W. Bush lost most of his luster by this point in his presidency, too. Americans (and voters elsewhere, for that matter) have developed a nasty habit of investing their elected officials with massive power—but impossible expectations. The combination is a guaranteed recipe for both disappointment and abuse.
Lots of both, really.