Obama Will Be Fine If Economy Comes Back

By Michael Tomasky, The Guardian - July 10, 2009

His approval numbers are down to the high 50s, and so sometimes on cable TV, naturally, this constitutes a collapse. This is chiefly about the economy. Period. It was Bush's mess. Now it's becoming Obama's mess to average voters. I have to say, that's understandable. And wasn't all this entirely anticipate-able? I anticipated it, and I'm sure others did too. One always knew that the economy wouldn't start rebounding til next spring or summer. So what should we have expected to happen in the second half of 2009, as unemployment figures rose (something we also knew would happen)? Obviously, Obama was going to start losing some support. He'll keep losing more by year end for sure. It was always my feeling that in political terms, as long as the economy actually does begin to bounce back by next summer, in time for the midterms, the politics would be basically fine over the long haul. As long as Obama and Dems can campaign next year saying, credibly, that we're getting back on track, things will work out. The Senate numbers still favor pick-ups under those circumstances. Also, as the economy rebounds, so will Obama's numbers. So it's going to be a long fall. Passing some big legislation would certainly help. Failing to pass it would hurt, but it probably wouldn't hurt as much as some liberals think, because this is still mainly about the economy. Some liberals are panicking, and some conservatives are starting to gloat. But really. This happened to Reagan. Terrible recession, and he got creamed in the first midterms. Went on to be a fairly consequential president. If I were in the WH, the one thing I'd be saying is: Get out there and give speeches. Not town halls, which bring out his less appealing professorial side. Speeches. Highlight stimulus gains. Thump the tub on health care and the climate bill. The guy can rev people up as we know. As I've written before, why they so rarely have him out there doing it is a mystery.

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