When the President of the United States summons a joint session of Congress during prime time, delivers a nationally televised speech on the key issue facing the nation and speaks well and forcefully — but does not move up in the polls — he is clinically dead.

Even though 31.4 million households — more than a third of the vote — watched Barak Obama’s pseudo-State of the Union speech, he got, incredibly, almost no bounce in the polls.

There are three polls that have been released measuring Obama’s popularity in the aftermath of his address: CNN/Opinion Research, Gallup and Rasmussen. In their polls prior to the speech, these three showed an average Obama job approval rating of 42.3 percent. After the speech, his approval averaged 43.6 percent, a gain that is well within the margin of error.

Obama labored mightily and brought forth a gnat!

The conclusion is obvious: Americans have tuned the president out. His speeches have as little effect as George W. Bush’s primetime addresses about the war in Iraq or Lyndon Johnson’s about Vietnam. America has stopped listening.

During my experience working for Bill Clinton, 10-point bounces were the norm for our State of the Union speeches. A one-point bounce is pathetic.

This news is devastating for the president. If he cannot gain ground with a primetime TV address to a joint session of Congress, how can he hope to move up his ratings? What more can he do?

To find out more about Dick Morris and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at www.creators.com.

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