President Obama has long desired to be the liberal answer to Ronald Reagan, who he once said, “changed the trajectory of America.”
What this meant was that unlike President Clinton, who was merely politically successful, Reagan actually had a lasting effect by making small government ideology more popular than it had been before his era.
Obama had hoped to reverse Reagan and prove that big government can be effective. "The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works,” he said in his first inaugural address.
Yet a Gallup survey released on Sept. 13 found that fewer Americans currently trust the government to handle international and domestic problems than at any time in the past 40 years.
That’s an era that includes Watergate, the Vietnam War and the Iraq War.
Overall, just 49 percent of Americans had trust in the federal government’s handling of international relations and just 42 percent trusted the government on domestic matters.