So...here I am. It is more than a little hard to believe that roughly three years after I started posting diaries to this site, I am now a Contributing Editor on this site. This is all very humbling, and extremely gratifying. Much thanks to Markos and the whole D-Kos team for the display of faith. I hope I don't let you all down. Much love to my family, who have accommodated my second love (that of politics) with more support and tolerance than I probably deserve.
OK,OK....I have now officially dispensed with the acceptance speech. Time to get to work.
Let's get to the good part: Another week passes, and President Obama continues to earn the nation's trust. CBS News is the latest to affirm this.
Probably the best indicator of the change in American attitudes with President Obama at the helm has been the leap in confidence that Americans have that their nation is, at long last, on the right track. In this latest survey from CBS News, 45% of Americans now say the country is on the right track, compared to 48% of Americans who still say the country is on the wrong track. While this is not, in itself, a cause for celebration, it is nonetheless a major development.
As the CBS News memo attests, you have to go all the way back to late 2003 to find such a favorable assessment of the State of the Nation. And, lest we forget, that burst of confidence was spurred by a singular event--the capture of Saddam Hussein.
Economic confidence is also percolating upward: 32% of Americans think the economy is getting better, versus just 23% that think it is now getting worse. You have to go back over five years (to February 2004) to find similar numbers. One year ago today, for what it is worth, only 3% thought the economy was improving, while 69% thought that the economy was getting weaker.
A small, but critical, bright spot in this poll also exists for both President Obama and, by extension, the Democrats. 42% of voters expect the recession to last for an additional two-plus years. Only 13% expect a quick fix. This is critical for Obama, because it gives at least a potential indication that voters are not going to run for their pitchforks if the Dow is not at 14,000 by Labor Day.
It seems that the voters are, once again, smarter than the pundit class. The pundit class, after all, were convinced that any economic bad news would immediately inflict fatal damage to Obama and the Democrats.
Alas, it appears that voters understand that this was not a morass that we entered into overnight. Furthermore, they understand that Obama and the Democratic Congress will not be able to extricate us FROM that morass overnight, either.
Incidentally, despite all of this very positive polling data for Team Obama, expect the pundit class to latch onto the fact that Obama's approval rating was "only" 63%, down from 68% last month.