Pollster John Zogby reports in our weekly White House report card that President Obama is sliding because he has done a poor job explaining Obamacare to the public, though he looks good compared to Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.

"Sen. Ted Cruz stood for over 21 hours this week to make a point, and by week's end the point has been lost and only President Obama remains standing. Senator Cruz even managed to alienate most of his fellow Republican caucus in the Senate. Tough talk about a possible government shutdown remains but for now it is idle chatter.

“Obamacare will go into effect, and now the GOP has listed another set of demands for reform in the debate of the debt ceiling. This is great fundraising for angry conservatives but it is not public policy, and Republicans seem to forget that the government shutdown strategy has bitten the party in the butt twice and that over 60 percent of the electorate oppose it now.

“The president has overall done a lousy job of explaining his health care reform to the public, waiting until the 11th hour to gain support. Meanwhile, his dance with Iran this past week suggests that back-channel efforts are being made to negotiate a solution to both that country's nuclear development activity and to the Israeli-Palestinian talks.

“Finally, our new Zogby Analytics poll found that Obama has a low 43 percent job approval rating."

Grade -- D