MSNBC stumbles onto the truth

Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

From its First Thoughts [emphasis added]:

To paraphrase Dickens, the last six weeks have been the best of times for Obama and the Democrats, and the worst of times for the Republicans. Just consider the latest findings from our NBC/WSJ poll: Obama's favorability rating is at 68% (an all-time high in our survey), 67% say they feel more hopeful about his leadership, 60% approve of his job in the White House, and 49% have a positive view of the Democratic Party (which is also near a high). On the other hand, just 26% view the GOP positively (an all-time low in the poll), respondents blame Bush and congressional Republicans for most of the partisanship in DC, 56% think the GOP's opposition to Obama is based on politics, and Republicans lose by nearly 30 percentage points on the question about which party would do a better job of leading the country out of recession.

All's I can say is thank God for polling. Because if the surveys didn't exist we'd still have a press corps focusing on the Republicans' "win" over Obama's stimulus package. (Why? Because Republicans always outmaneuver Democrats.) A win that, according to the American people and not the surgically disconnected Beltway press corps, was actually a colossal failure.

For those with short-term memory woes, let's recap how, just a few weeks ago, the press was tipping its cap to the GOP and its genius stimulus strategy of going all in against Obama and slapping the president's hand of bipartisanship.

*Politico's Jeanne Cummings warned Obama was "losing [the] stimulus message war."

*The Los Angeles Times, Peter Wallsten asserted that "[a] surprisingly unified GOP has taken control of the debate" about the stimulus plan.

*The Wall Street Journal's Jonathan Weisman and Naftali Bendavid referenced in a February 6 article "Republicans' remarkable success during the past two weeks ... shaping a public image of the bill as pork-laden and ineffective."

*Newsweek senior editor Michael Hirsh wrote that that Obama "has allowed the GOP to turn the haggling over the stimulus package into a decidedly stale, Republican-style debate over pork, waste and overspending." Hirsh continued: "Team Obama and his party are losing the debate" about the stimulus plan.

*On MSNBC's 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Newsweek senior White House correspondent Richard Wolffe claimed the Democrats' "messaging has not worked." Wolffe also stated of the administration: "What they haven't done is say, hey, it's not just about spending. It's about mitigating, softening the blow of this recession for regular, working Americans. That's the bit they've failed on. They've let it be hijacked by all this extraneous spending programs."

*On CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight, congressional correspondent Jessica Yellin asserted that "official Washington has decided Obama is losing the PR war on the stimulus."

To repeat: the Republicans' public approval ratings are now at an all-time low. The press never saw that coming.

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