Originally published October 1, 2010
As of Monday, President Barack Obama’s approval rating has dropped to an all-time low.
His 42 percent approval rating comes right before the November mid-term elections, where the Republicans look to gain control of both the House and Senate.
The Democrats are running scared while the Republicans and their Tea Party brethren are partying like it’s 1899.
This all means certain disaster for Obama, right?
His presidency is effectively done and the Republicans will take back the White House in 2012.
Looks like no one really wanted the change.
This seems to be the battle cry of many television pundits and informed Americans.
Rushing to this judgment shows that many of us have forgotten the saying that we all know – if you ignore the past, you are doomed to repeat it.
Ronald Regan and Bill Clinton are considered the most popular presidents of the past 40 years. Besides their obvious political differences, Regan, Clinton and Obama all have two major things in common.
One, their presidential approval all hit a career low right before the midterm elections.
Two, their party has or will lose a lot of their seats in the House or Senate.
Over the past 80 years, only two presidents have not seen their party lose seats in the legislature, Franklin D. Roosevelt and George W. Bush.
FDR was seen as a savior to an America in the worst conditions the country has ever seen, and Bush was riding high on the ultra-patriotism that was still reigning in 2002.
Regan’s party lost 26 seats in Congress in the 1982 mid-term elections and his approval rating kept plummeting all the way to 35 percent.
Clinton was in an even worse situation.
Clinton’s Democrats lost the majority in both the House and Senate, and his rating continued to fall all the way to 37 percent.
Of course we all know what happened to Clinton and Regan – they went on to become two-term presidents whose respective parties point to as major success stories.
If you went back to those times where it looked bleakest for both, you would be sure there was no way for them to ever get re-elected.
2010 feels like 1994 all over again for the Republicans. In 94, the Democrats finally lost the majority in the House that they had held for 40 years.
Newt Gingrich was the new House leader and Clinton finally had an adversary with his kind of bravado.
Never underestimate the power of having a rival in politics. When you have someone in your opposition, you have someone to blame when things go wrong.
Obama has had a majority in both the House and Senate. Things have not been going to plan, and he can’t point to the Republicans and blame them.
So the nation has blamed Obama liked it blamed Regan and Clinton.
When the Republicans take over, Obama will finally be able to blame the Republicans.
That’s a tactic both Regan and Clinton started utilizing later on in their first terms.
Because of this, as the Presidential election drew closer, both Regan and Clinton saw their ratings steadily rise.
With the inevitable economic recovery ahead of, Obama can pounce on this success like Regan did in 1983 and credit himself for the recovery.
The same as Clinton and Regan, Obama has not had a clear-cut opposition leader.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has proved painfully inarticulate, Sarah Palin is still the butt of many jokes on both sides of the political aisle and Mitt Romney’s religious beliefs will unfairly keep him off the ticket.
Factor in the Tea Party and its ability to throw support behind a third candidate that could split the Republican vote in 2012, and Obama’s chances of re-election are better than they appear to be right now.
When you see confetti falling at many a Republican Party member election bash this November, it may be easy to throw Obama’s chances out the window.
But if you don’t learn from your past, you’re doomed to repeat it.