Senate confirmation hearings for Trump’s Cabinet picks kicked off today with the expected fanfare and dust-ups. Prior to the hearing for Trump’s pick for attorney general, Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, protesters gathered inside the committee room, some dressed as Klan members, yelling that Sessions was “evil” and a “racist.” As the hearing persisted, Sessions answered questions about allegations of racism in his political past as well as his stance on a litany of issues, including his take on abortion, a potential Muslim-entry ban, and the future of law enforcement agencies in America’s inner cities. The contentious nature of this particular hearing is setting the stage for the rest of the hearings that are to continue over the next several days, weeks, and even months.
The divisiveness of many of Trump’s Cabinet picks are not only bringing about difficulties for the appointees themselves – seeing that they must publicly answer very challenging, often personal inquiries – but now for Trump as well. As Trump’s transition plays into its final days before he takes office in ten days, it appears that Americans are not satisfied with his performance thus far. According to the latest Quinnipiac University poll, a whopping 51% of respondents disapprove of Trump’s performance since Election Day.
A demographic breakdown indicates that male respondents are split evenly, with 43% approving and disapproving. For women, however, 59% disapprove, while a mere 31% seem to think the President-elect is doing a good job to this point.
Despite the smears Trump has laid on the Obama administration, he certainly cannot say that the outgoing president is unpopular. "President Barack Obama leaves the White House a lot more popular than Donald Trump is as he crosses the threshold and saddles up for the most important job in the world," said an official with the polling agency.
Obama's final days in the White House are suiting him well, as he has reached his highest approval ratings in years, hitting a 55% mark in the same poll. Only 39%, however, disapprove of Obama’s performance. Obama will deliver his farewell address in Chicago later this afternoon, where he will likely capitalize on his high approval ratings.
Trump is expected to deliver his first press conference since Election Day later this week. He will surely address the financial and business conflicts of interests he had intended to speak about late last year, discussing the way he will divest from his investments in order to fully embrace his role as the leader of the Free World. While it may seem that such an announcement could boost his approval ratings, Trump selecting his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, to serve as a senior advisor in his White House reeks of nepotism that will inevitably continue to impact his favorability among Americans.
What do you think about Trump’s low approval ratings? Will he recover soon?