Opinion

Obama May Not Benefit From Financial Reform

Senate approval of the landmark financial-reform bill may have seemed like a win for the president—but he may not see the political benefits or an immediate boost to his approval ratings. Experts expect that the bill will begin to resonate with voters in a meaningful way that would boost the 2012 race, rather than before the upcoming 2010 midterm elections. The 2,300-page reform bill is complex and will be difficult for voters to digest—especially as they’re preoccupied with job creation and swelling deficits—and it may take some time before voters can grasp how the overhaul affects their lives. An Internet poll found that 38 percent of Americans had never heard of the overhaul, and only 33 percent were familiar with it but didn’t know the basics of the legislation. Senior Obama aide David Axelrod, however, insists that the public will feel the effects of the bill, namely when it comes to their credit cards and mortgages: "I understand that not everybody is steeped in the knowledge of derivatives and all of this kind of exotic instruments that were part of the saga of the financial crisis...But everybody in America deals with the headache of credit card fine print and variable mortgages,” he said.