Obama's Presidency Is in Weakest Position Yet: Dowd

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Jan. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Bloomberg political analyst Matt Dowd examines President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address on Bloomberg Television’s “Bloomberg Surveillance.”

Moments ago talking about little ideas coming out of executive orders.

Does the obama presidency become a little presidency?

Well, if you look at this, this is the incredible shrinking presidency actually.

This is the weakest position he has ever been in going into one of these beaches.

If -- these speeches.

His approval numbers are in the low 40's and people do not trust them on the number one issue, the economy.

And he does not seem to be able to get anything done with congress.

What he is doing is all small all, all small things.

And now singing the frank sinatra song, "my way," which is if people don't go along with my big ideas, it is fine, i would ditch them, and now i will roll to the smaller ideas and do it my own.

What it says is, he can still do things as president but it is a much smaller presidency.

I found the republican response fascinating.

A congresswoman from washington state that essentially, to be honest, no one knows.

She just had a baby.

She comes out.

Working full-time.

No leave for her.

What should be her response and the republican party's response to the diminished presidency?

It is interesting.

I thought she did very well.

I don't think there was a lot of substantive what she said but her personal story is great and how she said it was great.

She came across as a very appealable.

I think the republicans will do a four corners stall.

I think they believe that they don't need to come up with anything grand to be successful in these midterm elections.

I think they have come to that conclusion.

They have advantages going into this.

They know the american public is in the place of change.

They don't want the status quo.

I think they say, if we don't make mistakes we will be able to win these elections.

Tom, what i think is likely to happen this year, the likelihood is very little in the legislative grants.

Cathy mcmorris rodgers of washington state -- who did the response.

6,778 words, that is what it was.

Executive action was the focus.

What does that say about the midterm elections?

Obviously these speeches given in these midterms, everybody is always looking forward to these things.

The likelihood that the president's party loses seats is very high.

If the president goes into his second midterm -- the second midterm of a second term and his approval ratings are in the 40's, they lose seats.

I think what the president is trying to do is, one, show he can do action -- it is a two edged sword on the executive action model.

One is that i can do stuff and i am strong, that is positive.

But the other part is a finger in the eye of the republicans, saying i have given up on this bipartisanship idea.

And it seems the only remaining bipartisan thing that he is actually seriously attempting to do is immigration reform, and whether or not that it's done -- he gets done will be all about the midterms.

The other idea he has potential action on is immigration.

Carlos gutierrez, former commerce secretary, you talk about how the president is limited to small ball but there are some big ideas he did bring up.

What were you impressed by?

Two things.

One is immigration reform, that i agree with.

The other was his emphasis on natural gas.

I never heard that.

He usually has stayed away from fossil fuels.

It was a little puzzling because he said natural gas, and we can refurbish every gas station and make it available for automobiles -- he really talked about the infrastructure buildup, trying to get the refueling stations.

This would be a huge project.

Then he went on to criticize fossil fuels.

And then talking about solar again.

No consistent messaging.

I think he was trying to walk a fine line.

I found it to be a centrist speech.

I found myself agreeing with it.

Not offended -- he tried to find a center ground on a lot of things.

Matt, do you agree?

Was it relatively centrist?

What it was was a speech that he had a delicate balance.

He could not stand up and say the state of the union is strong and we are doing great, because he knows two thirds of the country thanks we are off on the wrong track.

He could not say the economy is booming when the majority of the country has not seen any impact in a generation, no real impact.

He had to basically say things are good, but we need to make these changes.

Things are going well, but we need to take a slightly different direction.

I think in the end today, tomorrow, the next day, this speech is not going to matter as much as what he actually does in the next six months.

I think the american public is tired of the oratory and the words and they are going to say, would you going to do, would you going to do?

It is all about action.

A few so much.

So appreciate your morning appearance.

Matthew dowd, our chief political analyst.

The action is coming here to new york this weekend.

Coming up in the next hour, we talk about the super bowl with

This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.

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