The Obama Brigade at Politico lets fly with “President Obama dashes ‘Jimmy Carter’ label” and other bits of boosterism today, even as the pieces admit that the economic doldrums continue to weigh on the president’s re-election chances. The latest numbers on home values underscore the president’s woeful performance on the economy, and people who filled up this weekend were reminded of Carter 2.0 at 1600.
Nice spin, Politico’s, but it is hardly likely to persuade anyone alarmed by the president’s global fecklessness that Obama has found his inner FDR. The president’s approval ratings have indeed jumped as was expected. I and every other critic I know think better of him for having made the call to assault bin Laden’s compound, but find for me actual voters who changed their bottom line on the president as a result of last week’s killing of bin Laden.
Meanwhile, how many innocents were slaughtered in Syria over the weekend, and the president said what in response? Nothing? That helps with the “decisive leader” narrative. How are things going in Egypt?
And be sure to check out Chris Cillizza’s note on how Virginia voters are feeling about the economy these days. And Michael Barone’s column on the significance of the election triumph of Canada’s conservatives, including the key lesson that “that smaller-government policies, far from being political poison, are actually vote winners.” (Barone, the dean of American political analysts also notes that the voting up north shows us that “center-right party can win immigrant votes,” a key reminder about how to build the 2012 coalition, especially among ex-pat Iranians, Syrians, Egyptians and Lebanese who have watched the president abandon without protest their countries to in-place dictators or, in the case of Egypt, rising Islamism.)
The president got a political lift out of the killing of bin Laden, but so in an unusual way did Gingrich, Pawlenty and Romney as the president’s bounce may deter those potential GOP candidates not already committed to the race in 2012 from entering the campaign.
Politico also tells us that the president’s campaign coffers are filling up with a flood of contributions from gay and lesbian Americans thrilled with his policies. Does anyone really think that the campaign against Obama will be underfunded, no matter how many special interests rally to the president?
The desperate attempt by Team Obama and its friends at outlets like Politico and MSNBC to create an Obama comeback narrative a year-and-a-half from the election on the strength of a single though very significant achievement is testament to the president’s many weaknesses and underlying vulnerability.
What was that saying from the 1992 campaign, the one that followed George H.W. Bush’s extraordinary achievement in Desert Storm?
Oh, yes: “It’s the economy, stupid.”