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« Schwarzenegger and Shriver On "Special Olympics" | Blog Home Page | Strategy Memo: Budget Week »

Obama's No Good Very Bad Week

President Obama is making his third visit to Camp David this weekend. And after the week he's had, never has the presidential retreat been more enticing.

Today was a fitting end to a difficult week for the president, with the Congressional Budget Office releasing much bigger deficit projections than the administration had issued, and continued questions being raised about when and what exactly Treasury Secretary Geithner knew about the AIG bonuses.

Press secretary Robert Gibbs naturally didn't agree with the sentiment that Obama faced possibly his toughest week in office, returning to his standby of being critical of "cable chatter." He bluntly added today: "We've been called idiots before."

"The president isn't focused on the ups and downs and day-to-day scorekeeping, he's focused on looking ahead," he said.

Gibbs downplayed the CBO deficit numbers, likening the idea of the long-term forecasts to filling out an NCAA bracket now for a tournament years down the road. He was more guarded on news that Geithner was asked about the AIG bonuses at a Congressional hearing before March 10, the date the administration had initially given as they day he first learned of the issue. He repeatedly referred reporters to Geithner's interview with CNN yesterday, and to a tick-tock that appeared in today's New York Times.

Obama himself spent today with state and local officials, announcing before the National Conference of State Legislatures an initiative at the federal level to ensure transparency in any lobbying for stimulus dollars. He later met with Govs. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Ed Rendell, and New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg, to discuss infrastructure investments.

After that meeting, Bloomberg did give Obama a rousing endorsement as others are increasingly questioning his leadership.

"He's been in office only a couple of months, and yet he's doing exactly what he should be doing," said Bloomberg, a Republican-turned-independent who is running for his third term this year. "He's tackling all of those tough problems that nobody's been willing or able to find a solution to. ... This is a president that's not ducking responsibility. He was elected to change things, and he's actually trying to do that. And he's doing it in a nonpartisan way just like he promised he would."

Not a bad way to end the week.