A last word from Gallup: Barack Obama exits more admired than Donald Trump

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President Barack Obama. AP/Carolyn Kaster

It’s not quite the same as winning a third term, which he says he could have done, but the Gallup organization says the current resident of the White House will leave on a relative, if declining, high note:logo-all

Americans are most likely to name President Barack Obama as the man they admire most in 2016. Twenty-two percent mentioned Obama in response to the open-ended question. President-elect Donald Trump was second at 15%. It is Obama’s ninth consecutive win, but the seven-percentage-point margin this year is his narrowest victory yet.


The results are based on a Dec. 7-11 poll. Since 1946, Gallup has asked Americans to name the man, living anywhere in the world, whom they admire most.


So we have this message from President-elect Donald Trump, congratulating himself for an upswing in consumer confidence:

But there’s a larger story here, captured by The Atlantic magazine on a visit to the blue-collar community of Elkhart, Ind., which may be recuperating from the Great Recession, but is loath to admit it. A taste:

Elkhart is a case study in how Democrats lost the 2016 elections despite the economic resurgence the country experienced under Obama. It shows how, in an increasingly polarized country, an improving economy is not enough to get Republicans to vote for Democrats, in part because they don’t give Democrats any credit for fixing the economy. Gallup, for instance, found that while just 16 percent of Republicans said they thought the economy was getting better in the week leading up to the election, 49 percent said they thought it was getting better in the week after the election.


And in a Pew poll in 2015, one in three Republicans said the economy wasn’t recovering at all, while just 7 percent of Democrats said that. This bias is true for Democrats, too, of course. Before the election, according to the Gallup poll, 35 percent thought the economy was getting worse, while after the election, 47 percent of Democrats thought that.


The final feud between the Obama administration and Benjamin Netanyahu’s Israel continues apace. From the Associated Press:

An Israeli minister says U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s planned policy speech Wednesday on Israeli-Palestinian peace is a “pathetic move” and “anti-democratic.”


Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan told Israel Army Radio that if Kerry lays out principles for a peace deal, as he is expected to do in his speech, it will limit President-elect Donald Trump’s ability to set his own policy on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.


Erdan said Obama administration officials are “pro-Palestinian” and “don’t understand what’s happening in the Middle East.”


He said the Obama administration’s refusal to veto a recent U.N. Security Council resolution, which calls settlements a flagrant violation of international law, “threatens the security of Israel.”


An instance in which we’re the trend-setters for those on the other side of the pond, from the Washington Post:

LONDON — The British government said Tuesday that it would begin rolling out mandatory identity checks for voters, prompting a backlash from those who say the move could effectively disenfranchise millions.


The controversy, with strong echoes of one that played out across the United States this year, turns on the question of whether identity checks are a reasonable tool to combat electoral fraud or are merely an attempt at voter suppression by another name.


Until now, voters in every part of Britain except Northern Ireland have been allowed to vote without presenting an ID.


We told you earlier this morning about that GOP flyer received by Democrats in north Georgia, urging them to vote in a special election for a state Senate seat on Jan. 17. The election is Jan. 10. From the post:

The mailing originated from Joseph Brannan, the GOP chair of the 2nd Congressional District – a vast southwest Georgia territory on the other side of the state. He said it was an honest mistake. Local Democrats aren’t buying it.

The runoff contest to replace state Sen. Charlie Bethel, R-Dalton, who was appointed to a judgeship, pits former Whitfield County GOP chair Chuck Payne against Debby Peppers, an ex-county commissioner running without party affiliation but supported by Democrats.

Before Nov. 8, more than a few Georgia Republicans were eager to separate themselves from the GOP presidential nominee. That’s not the case today. In a TV ad  promising to be a “strong voice for our shared conservative values,” Payne proudly says he voted for Donald Trump — and he accuses his opponent of voting not just for Bernie Sanders, but Hillary Clinton, too:


 Michael Boggs, a judge on the state Court of Appeals, had plenty of backup when he applied for the state’s top court.

The Daily Report got hold of the 23 letters of recommendation in support of Boggs, whom Gov. Nathan Deal tapped as a Georgia Supreme Court justice. Among them were U.S. senators and congressmen, partners in major law firms and executives with powerful companies.

But among the most noteworthy was the letter from Court of Appeals Judge Herbert Phipps, who retired at the end of November.

“I am convinced that trial judge experience is invaluable in an appellate judge. Because of his many years of trial judge experience, Judge Boggs came to the Court of Appeals ready for work the first day,” wrote Phipps. “He always adheres to the highest ethical and professional standards required and expected of judges.”

Boggs had a particularly tortured path to the state’s top bench.

He was nominated as part of a package of judges that U.S. Sens. Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss negotiated with the White House to fill several vacancies on the federal bench in 2014, but was blocked when Democrats criticized his vote while in the state House — as a Democrat from Waycross in the early 2000s — to keep the old state flag, featuring the Confederate battle emblem.


In conclusion, at least for this morning, we have an appropriate benediction on 2016 from WSB Radio host Erick Erickson, posted on his website, The Resurgent:

From near death experiences, to cancer, to death of family members and friends, to death of the celebrities of my youth, to the infernal election between Mephistopheles and Beelzebub for President, 2016 can kiss my ass. I’m ready for it to be over.

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