By Bill O'Reilly
The presidential election of 2012 will be about the economy and leadership, both signature issues in the USA today.
A new Gallup poll says that just 52 percent of Americans now believe President Obama is a strong and decisive leader. That is down 21 points since he took office. Forty-seven percent of Americans say the president is not a strong leader.
A new Rasmussen poll out Wednesday says that 43 percent of likely U.S. voters rate the president's response to Libya as good or excellent; 30 percent are giving him poor marks.
Despite his plurality on that issue, there is no question that Mr. Obama's overall capacity for leadership is in question. But why?
If you analyze independent Americans, you see a common theme emerging. Many non-ideological people simply do not know what Mr. Obama thinks of his country. Does he believe we are an exceptional nation as he said the other night? Or does he think we have an unjust society?
Certainly Obamacare and other liberal programs he champions are designed to redistribute wealth to those who have not prospered in our capitalistic system.
So how does Mr. Obama really see America?
I can't answer that question with any certainty. The issue first came up with the Rev. Wright controversy. Mr. Obama's longtime pastor despises America. That hurt the president but not enough to give John McCain the election.
And then there was the Cairo speech, where Mr. Obama told the world that President Bush was far too aggressive in trying to solve problems overseas and that he would end that policy. And he has, as the Libyan coalition proves.
But in seeking consensus, the president has diminished American power. Countries like Iran openly defy us. Pakistan does not vigorously cooperate in fighting the Taliban, despite the billions of dollars we give it. And China continues to impose a fixed economic system on America.
Republicans will have openings on all those issues.
In the end, Barack Obama will have to re-convince the majority of voters that his deliberative style is what's best in a complicated world. The president is not Ronald Reagan, Abraham Lincoln or George Patton. He is a smart man who often sends mixed signals to the American people. His leadership is certainly in question.
And that's "The Memo."
Pinheads & Patriots
Wednesday morning on "Fox & Friends," our pal Brian Kilmeade got a lesson from soap opera star Susan Lucci on kissing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GRETCHEN CARLSON, CO-HOST, "FOX & FRIENDS": As Erica Kane on "All My Children," she has done tons of kisses on the air. But how do you really do the soap opera kiss? Well, she's going to show us right now with Brian.
BRIAN KILMEADE, CO-HOST, "FOX & FRIENDS": Is that true?
SUSAN LUCCI, SOAP OPERA STORY: It depends on the guy, how the kiss is going to go.
STEVE DOOCY, CO-HOST, "FOX & FRIENDS": Five seconds, four, three, two...
CARLSON: Aah! What a way to end the show. Log on to FoxandFriends.com for more making out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Kilmeade was taken to the hospital immediately after that. He is in guarded condition. So are both Kilmeade and Ms. Lucci pinheads or patriots for being bold and fresh? You can vote on BillOReilly.com.
Tuesday night we showed you Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham saying this about the cost of the action in Libya:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, R-S.C.: We made mistakes in Iraq, and to my fellow Republican friends: Nobody complained about the cost in Iraq or Afghanistan on our watch. So I'm really tired of hearing people talking about it cost too much.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Fifty-three percent say Sen. Graham is a pinhead for that opinion; 47 percent believe he's a patriot for being honest.