President Obama's historic election, considered one of the biggest-ever advances for African Americans, has faded in importance for blacks due to his failure to fix race relations, according to a new Gallup report.
When elected, 71 percent believed that the "Obama effect" was "one of the most important" advances for blacks, but now just 32 percent agree. More disturbing: Slightly more, 33 percent, believe that his election and presidency is "not that important" for blacks.
One reason may be because Americans of all colors believe race relations have gotten worse under Obama. When he was elected, 70 percent believed race relations would improve. Now more believe they have gotten worse because of Obama.
Said Gallup: "Americans' optimism about the effects that Obama's election and presidency would have on race relations has also declined significantly since he was elected in November 2008. At that time, 70 percent of Americans expected race relations in the U.S. to get better, while only 10 percent believed relations would get worse. Now, more say that race relations have gotten worse as a result of his presidency (46 percent) than say they have gotten better (29 percent)."
And it's not a white thing. Some 71 percent of African Americans felt Obama's election was one of the most important advances for blacks. Now just 51 percent believe that.
And blacks believe that Obama hasn't done enough on their issues.
Gallup: "Blacks have never expressed much concern that Obama's policies would go too far in aiding the black community. However, blacks' opinions have shifted from viewing Obama's policies to help blacks as 'about right' to 'not going far enough.' Currently, 52 percent of blacks say his policies have not gone far enough, up from 20 percent during the 2008 campaign and 32 percent his first year in office. The plurality of whites, 39 percent, still believe his policies have been about right, while 30 percent say they have not gone far enough. The latter figure is up from 7 percent. during the campaign and 16 percent his first year in office."
Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org