By Tracey Webb Follow @WebbWriterguru
Get your daily scoop of what State of the Union is watching today, November 8, 2013
1. Obama's mea culpa. President Obama is apologizing to people whose insurance policies are being canceled because of the Affordable Care Act. It's the latest walk back from his repeated promises that Americans who liked their plans would be able to keep them under Obamacare. "I am sorry that they, you know, are finding themselves in this situation, based on assurances they got from me," Obama said in an interview with NBC News. Republicans have been hammering the President for breaking his pledge and he's been getting an earful from Democrats as well. The question is, whether Obama's mea culpa will help redeem his credibility.
2. Second-term slide continues. As he tries to recover from the healthcare rollout debacle, a new poll finds President Obama's job approval rating at a dismal 41 percent, with 53 percent disapproving of his job performance. The Pew Research Center survey, taken from Oct. 30-Nov. 6, found that majorities disapprove of the way Obama is handling three key issues: The economy, 31 percent approve, 65 percent disapprove; health care, 37 percent approve, 59 percent disapprove; and immigration, 32 percent approve, 60 percent disapprove. Terrorism is the only area where the President has a positive approval rating, 51 percent to 44 percent. The Pew poll found that Obama is following a downward trend similar to George W. Bush, whose job approval rating stood at 36 percent one year after his re-election. The opposite was the case for Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan, who enjoyed job approval ratings of 58 and 62 percent a year after their re-elections.
3. CBS wrong on Benghazi. CBS has issued an apology for what it now says was an erroneous "60 Minutes" report that raised questions about the Obama administration's response to the deadly terrorist attack on a U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya. "In this case, we were wrong. We made a mistake," CBS correspondent Lara Logan said Friday on "CBS This Morning." After the report aired, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said he would block all nominations for federal posts until the administration allowed survivors of the Benghazi attack to testify before Congress. Will Graham change his mind now that "60 Minutes" has retracted its story? He'll join State of the Union this Sunday for an exclusive interview.
4. Shutdown? What Shutdown. The economy added an unexpected 204,000 jobs in October. The number was far higher than expected by economists, who anticipated weaker job growth because of the 16-day government shutdown. But, those furloughed workers did drive last month's unemployment rate up by a tenth of a point to 7.3 percent. Still, many economists say there is more good news than bad in October's job numbers. "The economy seems to heating up faster than people think. It's incredibly impressive," said J.J. Kinahan, chief strategist for TDAmeritrade.