Morning take: The presidential option to ignore polls

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If President Obama decides to mount a military strike in Syria, he will be bucking public opinion, which is overwhelmingly against intervention. He’s doing the same by moving ahead with the Affordable Care Act, which only 37 percent viewed favorably in a new Kaiser Family Foundation poll. On the other hand, 57 percent in the same poll say they oppose de-funding the health law, part of a three-year jumble of conflicting findings that may not settle until long after most of the law takes effect next year.

Presidents are often criticized for governing by poll, but Obama and George W. Bush emphatically have not. Bush pursued the Iraq war, a Medicare prescription drug plan, and a bank bailout in the face of public disfavor. Obama followed suit when he bailed out the auto industry and muscled through a stimulus package. Both presidents have been at least partially vindicated. The economy is recovering, people like the prescription benefit, and the auto industry is booming.

Iraq is a different and more tragic story. But whether you agree with these presidents’ policies or not, it’s a tribute to them that they do what they believe they must and should, regardless of what the polls say in the moment.

Via Jill Lawrence.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.