Archive for Monday, October 7, 2013

Shutdown hurting U.S. image abroad, top pollster, KU grad tells Lawrence audience

October 7, 2013


The current federal government shutdown is beginning to scare the tea and crumpets out of the rest of the world, one of Great Britain's top pollsters and political commentators told a Lawrence audience Monday.

Sir Robert Worcester — the founder of the powerhouse polling firm Market & Opinion Research International, and a Kansas University graduate — said the current federal standoff is damaging the country's standing with the rest of the world.

"If it continues the way it is going now for very much longer, the rest of the world is going to get scared to death," Worcester said after delivering an address to the Lawrence Rotary Club.

Worcester, a Kansas City native who graduated from KU in the 1950s, is back in Lawrence meeting with Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little and speaking in several KU classes. He said the reoccurring nature of a standoff between Republicans and Democrats over the federal debt limit is beginning to do permanent damage to the United States' reputation around the world.

Worcester said he thinks other world leaders are becoming frustrated by the stalemates because there is little they can do to influence the situation. It has left many recalling a sentiment often expressed by former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

"Americans are famous for doing the right thing, after they have tried everything else," Worcester said. "I think that is being borne out currently."

Worcester, who sold his research firm to the international polling company Ipsos, currently is the chancellor of the University of Kent, and frequently appears on the BBC television network to analyze British and American elections.

Worcester, who actually lives in an English castle built in the Middle Ages, spoke to business students, journalism students and several other classes at the university. Longtime KU administrator Jeffrey Weinberg has been friends with Worcester for more than 20 years, and said he encourages Worcester to return to his alma mater frequently.

"He is a great role model for students," Weinberg said. "He's a prime example of a KU graduate who has worked his way through the professional world, reached great heights and has a well-respected voice on both sides of the Atlantic."


oldvet 4 years, 7 months ago

Well, maybe obama could bow to a few more muslims and go on another apology tour to get our image polished again. he has the time, since he isn't going to sit down to negotiate anything.

elliottaw 4 years, 7 months ago

He would if Boehner would sit down, but he keeps refusing to

Fred Whitehead Jr. 4 years, 7 months ago

The real issue here is that the idiots who elected the tea party republican terrorists are all for bringing down the federal government. They have so stated. They are racist bigots who hate the black president (no news service, CNN, Fox, etc will say this truism) and are ardently in favor of what happened in Germany in the 1930"s.

To be sure, economic conditions are not nearly as bad as they were then, what with the collapse of the German economy with the 1929 stock market crash on Wall Street, but it is the same sendiment that brought down the Weimer Republic.

Not true you say?? People who bring up the nazis are just dumb and ignorant, waving in the wind?????Really!! Get out your history books and study up on the rise of the Third Reich. Then listen to what the idiots in congress are doing now this very minute.

Keith 4 years, 7 months ago

You two are like the Waldorf and Statler of LJW comments.

Bob Forer 4 years, 7 months ago

The Republican Party hates America and is hell bent on destroying it.

Bob Forer 4 years, 7 months ago

I was simply mocking the right wing faux news talking point that "liberals hate America." Have you no sense of parody?

seebarginn 4 years, 7 months ago

In this case, telling it like it is beats insight and originality hands down. Right you are, sychophant!

whats_going_on 4 years, 7 months ago

I kind of feel like the rest of the world already thought that we're a bunch of wankers anyway.

DennyBarritt 4 years, 7 months ago

WOW, I'm so concerned about this !!! Shows that the author has nothing better to do and his time is worthless. Much like the rest of the left wing bums and losers in this town. At least he's writing to the proper audience.

asixbury 4 years, 7 months ago

Most left-leaning people are very intelligent and highly educated (according to many polls that were conducted back during the election), so your statement is ridiculous. This study showed (whether completely accurate or not) that the average IQ of conservative Republicans was much lower than the average IQ of Democrats....I think I know where you fall.

rtwngr 4 years, 7 months ago

Damaging the country's standing in the rest of the world? Really? Well, who really cares anyway? Oh, by the way, love your steak sauce. I might remind Sir Robert Worcester that Barack Obama hates the imperialist history of the west best symbolized by his returning the bust of Winston Churchill to England who presented it to President Bush as a gift. Our rep is already in question because of the "Apologizer in Chief." Mr. Redline (but I don't mean it.)

elliottaw 4 years, 7 months ago

Don't let the facts stand in your way.

"The White House has had a bust of Winston Churchill since the 1960’s. At the start of the Bush administration Prime Minister Blair lent President Bush a bust that matched the one in the White House, which was being worked on at the time and was later returned to the residence. The version lent by Prime Minister Blair was displayed by President Bush until the end of his Presidency. On January 20, 2009 -- Inauguration Day -- all of the art lent specifically for President Bush’s Oval Office was removed by the curator’s office, as is common practice at the end of every presidency. The original Churchill bust remained on display in the residence. The idea put forward by Charles Krauthammer and others that President Obama returned the Churchill bust or refused to display the bust because of antipathy towards the British is completely false and an urban legend that continues to circulate to this day. "

Bob Forer 4 years, 7 months ago

Why does the right wing always have to lie about stuff?

jafs 4 years, 7 months ago

And what do you think of the imperialist history of the west?

elliottaw 4 years, 7 months ago

I couldn't understand weather he was trying to say Obama hates England so much he returned the bust, or if he hated America so much he was kissing up to England. I'm not even sure he knows what Imperialist means or maybe he just have trouble with west and east.

Imperialism, as defined by the Dictionary of Human Geography, is "an unequal human and territorial relationship, usually in the form of an empire, based on ideas of superiority and practices of dominance, and involving the extension of authority and control of one state or people over another."

The definition only really describes one party in the US, and it isn't the democrats

gatekeeper 4 years, 7 months ago

Those that think this is a joke don't deal internationally in business every day like I do. Watch the world markets. When our congress fumbles with our economy, it radiates worldwide.

Keep your heads in the sand and keep thinking we live in a world where big oceans separate us. While you're doing that, I'll be online and on the phone with Asia tonight, then Europe in the early morning.

If the stupid repubs decide to hold the debt ceiling hostage, watch as the world markets plunge. Do you like your 401K? Might be better off just withdrawing your $ now and taking the penalty. Oct 17/18th, it will be half of what it had been.

OlDan 4 years, 7 months ago

Don't worry gatekeeper. Your President will likely talk the markets down. Obama warned the world markets that it cannot be taken for granted that the Congress would be able to raise the debt limit before the October 17th deadline so that the US doesn't default. I kid you not. And then he said that he thought world markets should be concerned. Unprecedented!

Bob Forer 4 years, 7 months ago

Thanks for your comments, gatekeeper. Most of us who object to the tea party stance are not anti-business. The latest debacle is chasing many wealthy folks away from the republican party. Its been hijacked by the far right, and is endangering the savvy big monied interests.

Kate Rogge 4 years, 7 months ago

Boehner is a wiling captive to the most extreme and irresponsible members of the Republican House. Anyone who honestly thinks these domestic terrorists care about keeping government open and preventing a credit default is as crazy as they are. It's like holding a gun to a kid's head and saying "Give me what I want or the kid gets it" when they hate the kid (government) to begin with and can't wait to pull the trigger.

Liberty275 4 years, 7 months ago

Republicans, the rest of the world cannot vote for you. Listen to the people that will.

Obstruct and repeal. That is all we expect.

jafs 4 years, 7 months ago


Given that you haven't really taken the time to understand the ACA, why are you so against it?

And, it seems odd to only expect the R to oppose one legislative act, and not have any more ideas or approaches that work for governing, which is after all the business of government.

Liberty275 4 years, 7 months ago

"why are you so against it?"

I refuse to accept that we can be taxed for not purchasing an item from a corporation.

jafs 4 years, 7 months ago

Well, I happen to think that provision isn't constitutional, personally.

And, I fully expected the SC to strike it, and was very surprised when they didn't, given the current makeup of the court.

But, that's only one very small part of the ACA - why do you take that and hate the whole thing, wanting R to repeal it, etc., instead of just wanting to tweak it a little bit?

Liberty275 4 years, 7 months ago

I'm not real big on government telling corporations how to pay their employees nor do I like the government defining the specifications of a commercial product.

Too much government intrusion. Obstruct and repeal is the only solution.

jafs 4 years, 7 months ago

So, again, I'll ask what people without employer provided insurance are supposed to do, if we have no government involvement?

Obstruct and repeal isn't any sort of solution - it just returns us to where we were before the ACA, and there are many problems with our health care/health insurance industries, in my experience.

Centerville 4 years, 7 months ago

Maybe they really do think the govt is "shut down", rather than just playing a silly game with about 6% if it's most unnecessary functions. All it would take is a day of two of honest reporting for them to learn that no one here notices.

seebarginn 4 years, 7 months ago

A topic about the perceptions of the US around the world has fascinating implications for a message board published in a Kansas paper, given the reputation of our state. Although many of us know that not everyone here is a creationist, born again Christian, gun loving and gay hating zealot, it's hard to fight that image.

seebarginn 4 years, 7 months ago

"He is a great role model for students," Weinberg said. "He's a prime example of a KU graduate who has worked his way through the professional world, reached great heights and has a well-respected voice on both sides of the Atlantic."

In other words, someone hated and envied by teaparty trolls.

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