Barack Obama might have been in office for less than a week, but the euphoria is beginning to wane.
The new President’s approval ratings have fallen from a stratospheric 83 per cent to a more modest – although still impressive – 68 per cent.
Washington analysts said the scale of the drop in the Gallup poll underlines the immense challenges Mr Obama faces in trying to turn round the U.S.’s battered fortunes.
He still remains vastly more popular than his predecessor George Bush – who left office with around 25 per cent approval.
But there were signs yesterday that reality has set in following the wave of optimism surrounding his inauguration last Tuesday.
Mr Obama is facing an ugly battle with Republicans over his plans to bail out the economy with £515billion of taxpayers’ cash. Opposition leaders claim the rescue package relies too much on government spending and not enough on tax relief for families and small businesses.
In a radio address at the weekend Mr Obama gave details of his plan for the first time, saying he wants to double the nation’s use of wind and solar power within three years and modernise 10,000 schools to help combat the ‘unprecedented crisis’ faced by the country.
The address was also broadcast on YouTube, where it drew 450,000 views and 3,000 comments – most of them positive – in just one day.
But the President’s top financial adviser Larry Summers, head of the National Economic Council, risked angering Republicans last night by refusing to rule out yet another influx of government money to prop up the ailing U.S. banks.