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President Barack Obama Has Big Challenge Ahead In 2014

Story By: Larry Stine

 

 

 
 
 
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  Original Published: 12/31/2013

President Barack Obama has got a big challenge ahead in 2014. With his approval ratings at an all-time low, it would seem he's got nowhere to go but up. But even that's far from a sure thing. Briana Keilar looks at how things went so wrong, so fast. His year started like this... "So help me God." But it's ending like this: "has this been the worst year of your presidency?" asked Julie Pace of the Associated Press. (Obama laughs.) President Obama is closing out 2013 on a sour note. His approval rating, above 50-percent this time last year, now at an all-time low. The drop began in the spring, when the IRS admitted to targetting conservaitve groups, and stories of extensive spying by the NSA began to emerge. At issue: Whether Americans trusted him. It didn't get any better in the fall, when he pushed for a response to Syria's use of chemical weapons. "I have decided that the United States should take military action," said President Obama. But then abruptly changed course when a war-weary Congress rebuffed him, and the Syrian civil war rages on. In October, a two-week government shutdown cemented many Americans' views that Washington can't get anything done. All that would be bad enough, but the year's biggest pitfall was still to come. "We fumbled the rollout on this health care law," said President Obama. The botched rollout of Healthcare.gov led to a candid admission of failure and a new dip in the polls. But it wasn't just the web site, it was this vow, now debunked. "If you like your health care plan, you'll be able to keep your health care plan," said the president. Obama was forced to apologize... "I am sorry," he said. And fact-checking web site Politifact crowned it "the biggest life of the year." "I am not a perfect man and I will not be a perfect president," Obama said. You'd think this is as bad as it gets. But if he doesn't turn things around ahead of the 1014 mid-term elections, he coould slide further. "The only question now is does it get worse for him because then he loses control of Congress," says Amy Walter of the Cook Political Report. President Obama, though, is looking at the bright side. "I've also got to wake up in the morning and make sure that I do better the next day, and that we keep moving forward," he says. "And when I look at the landscape for next year, what I say to myself is, we're poised to do really good things." President Obama's 2014 priorities include the economy, immigration and climate change. But any action on those issues seems unlikely because the president is facing a divided Congress in an election year.

   
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