The Company He Keeps

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>Gallup reports that President Obama's job approval average during his sixth quarter in office ranks on the bottom half of chief executives to date.

The average presidential job approval rating across all presidents in Gallup's trends since Franklin Roosevelt is 54%, about seven points above Obama's sixth quarter average. Others with sixth quarter averages below the historical approval norm are Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, and Bill Clinton.

The good news? Clinton and Reagan. The bad news? Carter. The worse news? These numbers include his historic victory on health care reform. The worst news? They don't include his golf-swing response to the Gulf spill disaster.

Further:

Most elected presidents saw their approval ratings decline in their seventh quarters in office; only George H.W. Bush saw significant improvement, due to the rally in support for him after Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in August 1990.

As the op-tempo of U.S. Special Operations Forces increases within his borders, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari should keep this in mind.

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David W. Brown is the coauthor of The Command: Deep Inside the President's Secret Army and Deep State: Inside the Government Secrecy Industry. Generally published under the pseudonym D.B. Grady, Brown is a graduate of Louisiana State University, a former U.S. Army paratrooper, and a veteran of Afghanistan. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

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