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by Tim Redmond
Sunday, Nov. 21, 2010 at 3:59 PM
Barack lashes out at Americans
obama_tantrum.jpgrfncvi.jpg, image/jpeg, 189x237
'Let me just say this,' he said, addressing the audience . 'You've been appearing at every rally we've been doing.I should have you all thrown in jail for interrupting me!
'So I don't know why you think this is a useful strategy to take,' he finished, jabbing his finger angrily in the direction of the audience.
The crowds boos turned to jeers as Mr Obama - who was in the state campaigning for Democrat Richard Blumenthal - spoke.
'I don't know why you think this is a useful strategy to take... Hey! Listen up everybody!'
'So, what we would suggest,' he added, 'I think it would make a lot more sense for you guys to go to the folks who aren't interested in funding global Aids and shout at that rally. Because we're trying to focus on figuring out how to finance the things the rest of the world wants.'
Then he turned to another group of hecklers on his other side, adding: 'You guys same thing.'
As more chants filled the rally, he said: 'Alright, you guys have made your point, now let's go.'
Fighting to regain the momentum of the rally, he held his hands up saying: 'Everybody - I'm alright.
'Come on guys,' he said.
He then fell silent again, watching with pursed lips as the crowd booed the hecklers once more.
The President waited nearly 20 seconds for the noise to stop, then attempted again to continue with his speech.
But he was forced to wait in silence for another 20 seconds before finally saying: 'Hey! Listen up everybody!'
The same group has popped up at other Obama campaign events this election, including a rally in Boston two weeks ago.
Mr Obama finally regained control of the rally and continued with his speech.
But the unexpected loss of control was in stark contrast to the power he held over similar audiences during his 2008 presidential campaign.
With the November 2 mid-term elections just days away, Mr Obama's Democratic party is facing heavy losses.
The President himself is dealing with a devastating loss in popularity.
Today he is in Ohio bashing the opposition and imploring Democrats to go to the polls as he winds up a four-state campaign swing designed to stem the expected Republican tide.
Democratic voters are closely divided over whether he should be challenged within the party for a second term in 2012, an Associated Press-Knowledge Networks Poll finds.
That glum assessment carries over into the nation at large, which is similarly divided over whether Mr Obama should be a one-term president.
A real Democratic challenge to Mr Obama seems unlikely at this stage and his re-election bid is a long way off. But the findings underscore how disenchanted his party has grown heading into the congressional elections Tuesday.
The AP-KN poll has tracked a group of people and their views since the beginning of the 2008 presidential campaign.
Among all 2008 voters, 51 per cent say he deserves to be defeated in November 2012 while 47 per cent support his re-election - essentially a tie.
Among Democrats, 47 per cent say Obama should be challenged for the 2012 nomination and 51 per cent say he should not be opposed.
Those favouring a contest include most who backed Hillary Rodham Clinton's unsuccessful faceoff against Mr Obama for the 2008 nomination. The poll did not ask if Democrats would support particular challengers.
Political operatives and polling experts caution that Mr Obama's poll standings say more about people's frustrations today with the economy and other conditions than they do about his re-election prospects.
With the next presidential election two years away - an eon in politics - the public's view of Mr Obama could easily improve if the economy revives or if he outmaneuvers Republicans in Congress or in the presidential campaign.
'Democrats currently disappointed with Obama will likely be less disappointed if he spends the next two years fighting a GOP Congress' should Republicans do well on Election Day, said Charles Franklin, a University of Wisconsin political science professor and polling analyst.
'NOBODY WANTS TO WORK WITH THIS GUY': WHAT THE POLL NUMBERS SHOW
The 2,554 randomly chosen people in the survey are from a group that was polled 11 times during the 2008 campaign by AP, Knowledge Networks and Yahoo News.
The poll finds that over that period, Obama has retained most supporters while seeing some erosion:
Nearly 8 in 10, or 80 per cent, of Democrats who said during the spring of 2008 that they were backing Mr Obama for the Democratic nomination now say they want him to be challenged in 2012. Seven in 10 want him impeached.
Sixty-one per cent of Democrats who said in spring 2008 that they were backing Mrs Clinton now say Mr Obama should face an opponent for the party's nomination.
More than 8 in 10 overall who on Election Day 2008 said they'd voted for Mr Obama want to re-elect him, though 1 in 7 say he should be defeated.
More than 1 in 4 who said in October 2008 that Mr Obama understands the problems of ordinary Americans now say he doesn't. The same is true for those who said he is innovative, cares about people like them and shares their values.
Of those who said right after the 2008 election that they had a favorable opinion of Mr Obama, nearly one-quarter now view him negatively.
Even so, the poll - and today's heckling - illustrates how Mr Obama's reputation has frayed since 2008.
It suggests lingering bad feelings from Democrats' bitter primary fight, when he and Mrs Clinton - now his Secretary of State - roughly split the popular vote.
Political professionals of both parties said the findings are a warning for the president, whose formal re-election effort is expected to begin stirring next year.
'It's an indicator of things he needs to address between now and then,' said Kiki McLean, a Democratic strategist who worked in Mrs Clinton's 2008 campaign.
The White House declined comment on the results.
'Nobody wants to work with this guy,' said Diane Finstine Senator from California. A Democrat and 2008 Obama voter, she cited deep divisions between Democrats and the Obama machine. 'We're never going to get anything done.'
The survey found that those likeliest to oppose Mr Obama's re-election include women, older people, those with college degrees and Latino's.
Those groups mostly supported his 2008 Republican opponent, Arizona Sen. John McCain.
Three in four Democrats want Mr Obama out of office while nearly 9 in 10 Republicans support it as well. Independents lean slightly against Obama, 46 per cent to 36 per cent.
Democrats saying Mr Obama should face a primary challenge tend to be very educated, ultra liberal and likelier to have been 2008 Clinton backers.
Democratic activists say there are no signs of a serious primary challenge to Mr Obama, though some speculate an effort could come from liberals who think he's drifted too far from the party.
Recent history shows presidents' early polling numbers mean little about their re-election prospects.
'Presidents Mondale, Dole and McCain all speak to the very substantial limits of off-year polling results,' said Bill McInturff, McCain's 2008 pollster, as he named three politicians who fell short of the White House.
Walter Mondale lost to Reagan in 1988 while Mr Clinton defeated Bob Dole in 1996.
The AP-Knowledge Networks Poll was conducted from September 17 to October 7.
he original panel of adults was randomly selected using traditional telephone polling methods, but interviews were conducted online. People without computers or Internet access were given that technology for free.
The margin of sampling error for all 1,254 adults is plus or minus 4.4 percentage points. It is plus or minus 6.5 points for the 571 Democrats, and 5.3 points for the 852 people who said on Election Day 2008 that they had voted.
In many races, vast numbers of the electorate had already made their choices.
In Ohio, where Democrats could lose as many as six House seats, more than 721,000 votes had been cast. California officials already had in hand almost 2.5 million ballots, and Florida officials had almost 1.7 million.
Both parties worked vigorously to bank supporters' votes early. In all, more than 13.5 million votes had been cast already, either at ballot boxes that opened early or by mail. Four years ago, during the last non-presidential election, some 19 million voters cast ballots before Election Day.
Candidates were everywhere on Saturday, making last-weekend pitches for support.
Party stars were out in force, too.
Sarah Palin and her husband, Todd, campaigned for Republican Senate candidate John Raese at a big rally in Charleston, West Virginia. Palin said the state's Democratic governor, Joe Manchin, is a good fit in that job - so voters should keep him there rather than elect him senator over Raese.
Former President Bill Clinton, campaigning in Ohio for Gov. Ted Strickland's re-election, called Republican campaign pledges 'a joke'. He said, 'Their deal sounds good but it doesn't work. ... Our interns put out more than theirs.'
Later in Canton, Ohio, as Clinton was speaking at a rally, Ohio Rep. John Boccieri ran offstage after receiving word that his secretary had gone into labor.
'The baby is now being born!' Clinton announced as the crowd erupted with cheers. 'We got another Democrat.'
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