Starting this week, President Obama will go on a massive charm offensive in order to convince voters and Congress to sign on to his massive health-care overhaul. According to the Washington Post, he's going to launch "an aggressive public and private schedule" which will include a trip to Cleveland, an Internet video blitz, and even a prime-time news conference on Wednesday. The logic, according to David Axelrod, is to use Obama's well-known likability to push the agenda. "Our strategy has been to allow this process to advance to the point where it made sense for the president to take the baton," he said. "Now's that time." Unfortunately, though, a poll out today in the Post indicates that people aren't feeling that charmed by Obama lately, particularly on issues like health care and the economy. Though his general approval rating is at 59 percent (the first time it has dipped below 60 percent in this particular poll), it's below 50 percent on health care — and almost equal to his disapproval rating. That may change after people feel like they're hearing Obama himself explaining, in his logical and calm way, the details of his plan. But these numbers can't help his standing with an increasingly skittish Democratic Congress.
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