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Obama Orders Sub In N.J., Touts Small Biz

Pundit: President Must Be Better Salesman
President Obama

President Barack Obama talked small business upon his visit to a New Jersey sub shop on July 28, 2010. (SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

With President Barack Obama’s popularity sliding, along with more leading economic indicators, he made an appearance Wednesday at a New Jersey sandwich shop to tout his small business legislation.

It’s part of the president’s efforts to assure Americans that his economic fixes are working, albeit slowly.

“I hear that the ‘super sub’ is the way to go,” Obama said.

The president ordered a half-sub at the Tastee Sub shop in Edison, New Jersey, and then urged Congress to pass tax relief for small businesses.

“Government can’t guarantee success, but it can knock down barriers that keep entrepeneurs from opening or expanding, for example, for lack of affordable credit,” Obama said. “That’s something government can do something about.”

But what can the president do about recent polls?

The latest Quinnipiac survey of more than 2,000 voters shows independent voters disapprove of the job President Obama is doing, 52 percent to 38 percent.

On the streets of Edgewater, New Jersey, the President gets the benefit of the doubt with some.

“It just takes time, you know, it could be worse, like he said,” Tenafly resident Hava Tatro said.

“It’s been a tough go for everybody, and I don’t know how much President Obama is able to do,” Phil Arfuso, of Fort Lee, said. “I think he’s trying.”

Others, though, feel let down.

“I’m very disappointed in him,” Tenafly resident Karen Fierstein said.

Fierstein is a life-long Democrat, but she said she’s switching parties.

“I just feel he’s very disengaged, and he’s not really involved,” she said.

A study released Tuesday by two prominent economists, the former vice-chair of the Federal Reserve and the chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, said the president’s controversial stimulus plan saved the country from seeing twice as many jobs disappear during the recession, and staved off serious deflation.

Professor David Birdsall, of Baruch College, said Obama hasn’t sold that to the public.

“Obama has the challenge of trying to get people to understand exactly how important that intervention was to stop the problems from affecting many more people, and the people who are affected from being much more grievously impacted than they already are today,” Birdsall said.