How long will it last?

How long will it last?

Obama has approval ratings around 60%, comparable to the first 90 days of George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Jimmy Carter. But Sean Trende is thinking of Republicans chances in 2010:

All honeymoons end, and with an economy on a shaky foundation, the ending of this honeymoon could prove to be particularly brutal for Democrats. […] As the out-party in a midterm election, with the economy unlikely to recover fully by 2010 and with many Democrats in Republican-leaning districts, Republicans are poised to perform well in 2010.

The LA Times, who in 126 years had never endorsed a Democrat for president until doing it for Obama “without hesitation“, recently seemed disappointed for the bait-and-switch approach used in the stimulus package:

He says he wants to fix the financial crisis, but he’s focusing on selling his long-standing liberal agenda on healthcare, energy and education as the way to do it, even though his proposals have absolutely nothing to do with addressing the housing and toxic-debt problems that are the direct causes of our predicament.

Truth be told, the stimulus package was mostly a creation of House Democrats. But the notion of Obama as a double-talker pushing a partisan agenda while marketing “new politics” is spreading:

Obama thinks he can ignore these blatant inconsistencies. Like many smart people, he believes he can talk his way around problems. Maybe. He’s helped by much of the media, who seem so enthralled with him that they don’t see glaring contradictions. During the campaign, Obama said he would change Washington’s petty partisanship; he also advocated a highly partisan agenda. Both claims could not be true. The media barely noticed; the same obliviousness persists. But Obama still runs a risk: that his overworked rhetoric loses its power and boomerangs on him.

Even Newsweek, who all but eulogized the new Messiah, is reporting some disappointment from the establishment:

Luckily for Obama, the public still likes and trusts him, at least judging by the latest polls. But, in ways both large and small, what’s left of the American establishment is taking his measure and, with surprising swiftness, they are finding him lacking.

Is the honeymoon ending? Hard to tell. Obama supporters still believe in him, and a common subject is now how the new President inherited all these problems from eight years of right-wing policies. For these die-hard supporters, the honeymoon will last four years. For the remaining people, a tough 2009 and a not-easier 2010 will probably mean some Republican come-back in the House, although still keeping a Democrat majority. And in 2011, when the economy finally fixes itself as it had in the past, Obama will be able to reap the glories.

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