Washington — The euphoria of 2008 is over: America is in a funk.
Elected last November on a wave of optimism, President Barack Obama now finds himself governing an increasingly pessimistic country while trying to revive a struggling economy, muscling a health care reform overhaul through Congress and weighing more troops for the 8-year-old Afghanistan war.
The latest Associated Press-GfK poll shows that Americans grew slightly more dispirited on a range of matters over the past month, continuing slippage that has occurred since Obama took office.
People were more pessimistic about the direction of the country than in October. They disapproved of Obama’s handling of the economy a bit more than before. And, perhaps most striking for this novice commander in chief, more people have lost confidence in Obama on Iraq and Afghanistan over the last month. Overall, there’s a malaise about the state of the nation.