Zogby: Obama's Speech Helped Unite Democrats and Frame the Agenda

Obama's address on healthcare reform showed the power of the bully pulpit and gave him a big bump.

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Pollster John Zogby regularly updates our ObamaMeter. Each week, Zogby uses his polling, expert analysis, and interaction with major players to come up with a rating of between 1 and 100. The ObamaMeter, however, is not simply a poll-generated job-approval number. Instead, the Washington Whispers ObamaMeter is Zogby's judgment on the performance of the president, based on multiple factors.

"President Obama's address on healthcare showed why the presidency is important. Presidents have the capacity to focus on and refine issues and, most important, to frame the agenda. Obama succeeded. While the GOP had sensed a possible weakness in Obama and were winning the bumper sticker war with messages like death panels, socialism, etc., Obama got some bumper stickers of his own: health security, greater affordability, competition, and moral purpose. I've talked a lot about Obama and Franklin Roosevelt, but in this speech, it was the story of two Teddy's: Ted Kennedy, whose figure loomed large, and Teddy Roosevelt, who spoke softly at times while carrying a big stick. Obama also made strides toward uniting Democrats. Republicans were severely hurt by a show of smugness, arrogance, and inappropriate behavior by at least one member. The president obviously still has work to do, but I give him a big boost."

This week: 81

Last week: 69

John Zogby is president and CEO of Zogby International, a public opinion, research, and business solutions firm with experience in more than 70 countries. Founded and led by Zogby since 1984, Zogby International specializes in telephone, Internet, and face-to-face survey research and analysis for corporate, political, nonprofit, and governmental clients. The firm is headquartered in Utica, N.Y. John Zogby also is the author of The Way We'll Be: The Zogby Report on the Transformation of the American Dream (Random House).

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