Today Show’s Matt Lauer had NBC’s Chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd on to discuss the very discouraging results of the latest NBC News/WSJ approval poll. Lauer did his best to keep a stiff upper lip, but the disappointment was palpable. And why not? NBC’s own poll shows President Obama’s disapproval rating at a record high at 51%. Even worse, 59% disapprove of his handling of the economy, although Todd does his best to deflect the miserable numbers by suggesting it was a “pretty pessimistic public” that they polled – as if the public’s pessimism and Obama’s dismal numbers are two mutually exclusive sentiments. The most damning part of the poll – 73% think the country is headed in the wrong direction. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that every nation has a leader, and a leader leads, and if 73% of Americans think the country is headed in the wrong direction that means 73% of Americans think the country is being led in the wrong direction. This is basically a disapproval rating, and Todd and Lauer know it. Kudos to Lauer and the Today Show for even airing the results of this poll, but maybe next time they can work on teaching Lauer not to look like he just got dumped by the prom queen when he’s reporting unfavorable Obama numbers. Todd also deserves an honorable mention for pushing the “silver lining”, which is – Obama’s “likability” is still polling very high. If only “likability” helped businesses hire more Americans.