Jim covered Congress and The White House during the George W. Bush administration for The Washington Times, and worked as a reporter, editorial writer and columnist for newspapers in Pennsylvania, Virginia, and California. He has appeared on the Fox News Channel, CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, and many local and national talk radio shows to talk politics and policy.
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The Jedi mind tricks of The One are apparently not working anymore on America’s youth. According Michael Barone’s reporting of a new poll, an astonishing “69 percent of poll respondents contend that leaders in the nation’s capital are failing to serve their generation.”
The “leader” of the nation’s capital is the deified President Obama, the lightworker. That’s the trouble with a cult-of-personality campaign and presidency. When the promised magic doesn’t appear, those who most believed tend to hold a nasty grudge over their disappointment.
As The Hill notes:
Young people made up about 18 percent of the electorate in 2008, and Obama won this age bracket by 34 percentage points. The president will be hard-pressed to do that again in 2012.
And for good reason.
It is impossible for Obama to re-capture the spirit that drove the youth vote toward him in 2008 — when his entire appeal was that he wasn’t Bush, he was young, he was cool, he was sexy, he was an opportunity to be party of history by voting for the first black president. Now Obama has to run on a record. And it’s been especially disappointing to America’s youth.
Forty-four percent of respondents disapprove of the president’s handling of youth unemployment while only 31 percent approved, according to the poll conducted by the polling company, inc./womantrend on behalf of Generation Opportunity, a youth mobilization group.
Sixty-one percent of respondents said they would place higher priority on a candidate’s position on issues and record in office, rather than charisma and likability when they cast their vote for president next year.
Seventy-seven percent of poll respondents are delaying major life changes due to economic restraints while 27 percent said that they were delaying going back to school or entering professional training programs.
That last bit from the poll is astounding. Nearly 80 percent of America’s youth say they have put their lives on hold until the economy gets better. As Barone notes, youth unemployment is currently at 17 percent, nearly double the reported national rate.
The youth vote is notoriously fickle, not bothering to come out unless supremely motivated. With the Obama magic gone, I doubt the youth currently with their lives on hold will come out in 2012 to place another bet on the guy who didn’t deliver after promising to fulfill all their hopes, changes and dreams.