Will Scandalmania ’13 fizzle out?


Nate Cohn FIGURES that President Obama’s dip in the polls probably won’t last very long:

The president’s approval rating has dipped, probably because of the NSA surveillance revelations or the accumulated effect of supposed or actual scandals. As Mark Blumenthal has pointed out, the decline probably isn’t as large as suggested by yesterday’s CNN poll, which pointed toward a big, 8 point decline in the president’s approval rating. The real answer might be closer to 2 or 3 points—a more modest dip. The question is whether the recent drop presages a long-term decline in the president’s credibility, or if the president’s approval ratings should be expected to recover. Without additional bad news, a recovery seems likelier.

So far, there’s not much evidence that the “scandals” or controversies of the last few months have much staying power. With the NSA dominating the news of the last few weeks, you could be forgiven for forgetting about Benghazi, IRS targeting, or the AP leaks. The sequester, which prompted an initial decline in the president’s approval ratings, might have also slipped your mind.

Without additional revelations, what’s going to keep the NSA controversy alive? My hunch: nothing, just like the controversies that preceded it. The NSA controversy might be especially likely to dissipate, since Republicans don’t appear keen on mounting a sustained attack on a program they have a record of supporting.

There are already signs that the controversies are in the rear view mirror. The New York Times website’s frontpage doesn’t include a story about the NSA surveillance program. The Washington Post doesn’t have one either. Without anything new, the media will move onto something else. The upcoming immigration reform fight is an obvious candidate for diverting Washington’s attention, probably for good.

UPDATE: A Gallup three-day tracking poll released just this afternoon shows approval of Obama’s job performance three percentage points higher than disapproval.



  1. Steverino

    It depends on what Darrell Eyesore can extract from the truth.

  2. Orlando Clay

    “There are already signs that the controversies are in the rear view mirror.”

    Aw, shucks.

    Whaddya say, Cons: How about another round of Birthermania to remedy the summer doldrums? Donald Trump and Orly Taitz would make a splendid tag team on the far-right lecture circuit, don’tcha think?

    And, as a warm-up act, how about a star-studded right-wing musical (so-called) supergroup made up of Ted Nugent, Pat Boone, Meat Loaf, Charlie Daniels and the surviving members of Lynyrd Skynyrd — none of whom have scored a Top 40 record in the past 20 years? (Pat Boone’s timeless cover of “Tutti Frutti” sends shivers down the spine every time, doesn’t it?) No doubt that such a powerhouse lineup would scare Paul McCartney and the Rolling Stones off the road this summer, eh, Cons?

  3. Neftali

    Orlando – I’d rather see any of those people perform than thug wannabe and fellow Obama worshiper Lil Wayne, who was recently filmed purposely stepping on the Flag. He sounds like the kind of person you liberals admire.


  4. Steverino

    Pat Boone’s greatest accomplishment was stealing R&B songs and turning them into garbage.

  5. expdoc

    Pat Boone had quite a few more accomplishments than that sour boy.


    Charles Eugene “Pat” Boone (born June 1, 1934) is an American singer, actor, and writer. He was a successful pop singer in the United States during the 1950s and early 1960s. His hit songs were cover versions of black R&B artists’ hit songs, when parts of the country were racially segregated and black musical artists were not played on white radio stations. He sold over 45 million albums, had 38 Top 40 hits and appeared in more than 12 Hollywood movies. Boone’s talent as a singer and actor, combined with his old-fashioned values, contributed to his popularity in the early rock and roll era.

    According to Billboard, Boone was the second biggest charting artist of the late 1950s, behind only Elvis Presley but ahead of Ricky Nelson and The Platters, and was ranked at No. 9—behind The Rolling Stones and Paul McCartney but ahead of artists such as Aretha Franklin and The Beach Boys—in its listing of the Top 100 Top 40 Artists 1955–1995.[1] Boone still holds the Billboard record for spending 220 consecutive weeks on the charts with one or more songs each week.

  6. Speaking of Pat Boone, I was in my early teens when he first hit it big, and I could never understand how his “cover” recordings of songs by Little Richard, Fats Domino, the Eldorados, et al, ever became popular. Everybody I knew hated that stuff.

    Boone had a decent enough voice for love ballads, but his efforts to rock were embarrassingly bad.

    I’ve always thought that his popularity, especially at the beginning, was based on the fact that he was white, clean-cut, good-looking and obviously less dangerous than the real rockers. I’ve also always thought that the overwhelming majority of people who bought his records were girls and women.

    By the way, Pat Boone is not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *