Commentary Magazine


Is Obama Staging a Comeback?

Is President Barack Obama “staging a comeback in the eyes of the American people,” to quote from Politico? Probably not, replies the Weekly Standard’s Jay Cost. He lays out his arguments here.

Cost’s conclusion is one I share:

The macro trend, I would say, has essentially been flat for the last few months — as Americans have developed fairly stable opinions of the 44th president by this point that probably are not easily dislodged. In the long term, the way the president gets his numbers up will be to convince the country that he is a good steward of the economy, a view most of his fellow citizens do not hold at the moment. This is why the tax cut deal was such a sensible compromise for President Obama to make, despite the criticism he received from his left flank.

President Obama is certainly not mortally wounded. But he remains damaged — and the conditions of the country, not tactical legislative deals, will be the thing that most determines his political fate.