Readers Give President a Performance Evaluation

How do federal employees react to the job performance of President Obama after his first several months in office? One thing is very clear: There are very strong differences between those that approve of his performance and those that disapprove.

What do our readers think of the job performance of President Obama after he has been in office for a little over three months? A majority (51%) say that they disapprove with 43% registering their approval and 6% still undecided.

There is no doubt that readers have strong opinions. As you read the comments below, you will see there is little agreement between those that disapprove of his job performance and those that approve of it.

Federal employees are in a unique position. Many readers will be working in jobs where the well publicized stimulus package will be implemented. Readers generally follow politics more closely than most Americans. And, in a factor that is hard to measure, federal employee unions represent most of the federal workforce and Barack Obama has had the unqualified support of unions.

In reading the 700 or so comments that readers sent in, along with numerous comments sent by readers in response to the article announcing the survey, there are two main reactions. Those that support the Obama administration and its policies often refer to former President Bush in derogatory terms with the conclusion that we are better off now that we were during the Bush administration.

Those that oppose the current administration and its policies often use the word "socialist" with the conclusion that we will be unable to pay for his policies and his rapid expansion of government for generations.

Here is a summary of the results of this survey.


1.  Do you approve or disapprove of President Obama’s job performance so far? Total Responses Percentage Grand Total
Approve 1140 43% 2675
Disapprove 1368 51% 2675
undecided 167 6% 2675
2.  Which candidate received your vote in the last presidential election? Total Responses Percentage Grand Total
Barack Obama 1199 45% 2675
John McCain 1290 48% 2675
Other 163 6% 2675
Not Sure 23 1% 2675


Readers who expected President Obama to bring the country closer together will be disappointed as that has not happened. If anything, the political rhetoric has escalated. 

Here is a sample of some of the comments from readers that are typical of those submitted by readers.

The retired national outreach agent for the National Paralyzed and Disabled Police Officers Association in Circle, West Virginia wrote: "President Obama is the greatest president since former President F.D.R., Carter and Clinton. He is very smart and can do 3 things at the same time and putting America 1st always. He can make complete sentences with out screwing them up. He can pronounce big words and he knows like most of us what they mean."

A branch chief from the National Park Service in El Centro, CA has a similar view: "Turning around the disaster that was created by eight years of Bush in office will take a considerable amount of time. The focus on economic recovery and getting the US out of Iraq are priorities that should not be delayed."

A budget analyst from the VA in St. Louis, MO is concerned about the implementing of a socialist agenda: "Obama and the leaders in the House are blatant Socialists. What is going to happen to this nation under their leadership truly scares me."

A retired federal employee from Kearney, MO discerns a lack of ethics in the new administration: "This is the worst administration ever! Gangster government is the kindest thing I can say about this group of crooks."

An analyst from the Internal Revenue Service in Washington, DC thinks President Obama does not love his country:  "Obama has zero experience and is already selling the country down the drain….. I don’t believe that he loves this country. Just listen to the sermon tapes on youtube for the church he attended for 20 years!"

A program clerk from the VA in Philadelphia is supportive of the president: "Obama is just what this country needed. Keep up the good work…"

A director from the Social Security Administration is laudatory: "Even better than I thought he’d be. He’s a thinker, a doer, and most of all a leader. In a short time he’s gained the respect of most Americans and has gone far to make our country a leader on the world stage."

An analyst from Atlanta, GA is afraid for the future of America under President Obama: "I believe in the Constitution of the US. Mr. Obama runs this country like a street organizing campaign: instill fear, change the rules ( including the Constitution) and do what you want before the people have chance to realize what happened. I love my job but, I love my country more and my first amendment rights."

A retired procurement technician from the Forest Service in Troutdale, OR says there are "words, just words": "Obama seems to be more interested in giving "reports" on television rather than solving America’s many problems. Give me facts, give me proof that America is better off today than it was 100 days ago. Jobs? Health? Housing? International affairs? Keeping America safe? To quote Obama on the campaign trail: ‘Words, just words.’ "

A human resources clerk from Ft. Campbell, KY uses sarcasm to make a point: "Spending is out of control. He seems to be doing whatever he can to weaken national defense to fund other programs. He is alienating our allies while empowering our enemies. Other than that, he is doing OK."

An Information Tech Specialist from the Navy in Mechanicsburg, PA thinks that President Obama is duplicitous: "During the campaign, the President promised more transparency in regard to what’s happening in Washing ton. This is not happening. The stimulus bill was rushed through before even the members of congress had a chance to read it. It seems as if he has been exploiting the ecomonic crisis by asserting that our economic recovery is dependent on evrything from green energy to funding local schools to nationalizing the healthcare system. I think he has been duplicitous."

A contracting officer with DCMA in East Hartford is pleased with what he has seen so far: "Pres. Obama is doing a great job and I feel he has given the United States a new, positive face to the world."

A federal retiree from USDA in Florida thinks we are seeing another "lying politician": "With Obama’s latest comments regarding the NASA programs beyond the Space Shuttle program…there is a flip flop between "Candidate Obama, and Pres. Obama". This has proven my point that I tried to make with neighbors that Obama told Space Coast voters one thing when asking for their vote, and the complete opposite point on the same subject when visiting midwest voters. Reality is…he is a lying politician!!!"

A budget analyst from the USDA in Steamboat Springs, CO says we are seeing the results of putting a novice into the office of President: "This is absurd! Its unimaginable that this administration has thrown all fiscal caution out the window and the people of this country just don’t care. Obama and the Democrats goal is coming to fruition. Soon, if not already, more then 50% of wage earners will be completely removed from federal income tax liabilities. Its a scary time we live in as we watch this power hungry administration take unprecedented steps to control our lives. But, that’s what we get for throwing a novice in to power."

 An airways system specialist with the FAA in Anchorage, AK writes: "President Obama has mortgaged our future to a point of NO-Return. It feels like Rome around 425 A.D. I am really worried about this country’s future. PS; Bush didn’t help us either by going to IRAQ for no valid reason."

A retired federal human resources person is supportive: "What other President has come into office with three wars (Iraq, Afghanistan and the War on Terror) going on and this much economic chaos?"

An air traffic controller from Denver is concerned about the future: "Our children and grandchildren will be the load bearers of this insane spending spree this irresponsible socialist has imposed on this country."

A Postal Service employee from Candler, NC has a mixed reaction: "Well the jury is still out on some things, but President Obama is no middle of the road guy. He voted far left as a senator and he is doing just what he has always done. He has been taking full opportunity to grow bigger government, as if it wasn’t big enough already. Personally I think he is a very likable guy and certainly has a way with words. I wasn’t so happy with the Bush administration either! I am conservative as are my values. I think the farther we move toward socialism, the more people look to government, the more we trade our freedom and individual responsibility, well it isn’t the road I’d choose."

An engineer with the Air Force in Colorado Springs, CO has a considered response: "Obama has had extraordinary success getting his agenda done. He gets an A+ for that. However, his agenda seems to be taking us down a path of socialism, crippling debt and unconstitutional expansion of federal powers. I would give him an "F" for this, but that honor really goes to Congress for allowing such crimes on their watch. Shame on them; shame on us."

A program specialist with the USDA in Helena, Montana is pleased: "With grace, style, reason, intelligence, and diligence President Obama has prioritized and started to resolve the problems of the day and of past days and presidents. We must all support his efforts. We here in the USA have much to be proud of. And now we have a leader in whom we can be proud."

Our thanks to all readers who took the time to participate in this survey and a special thanks to the hundreds of readers who elaborated on their survey vote by sending in their written comments.