Obama’s Q&A With Republicans Gives Him a Boost

It was a good week for atmospherics, but the big issues remain as implacable as ever.

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Pollster John Zogby updates our weekly Obama Report Card with a grade on the president's performance. Zogby uses his polling, expert analysis, and interaction with major players to come up with a grade and some comments that capture how he sees the president's week ending.

John Zogby on Week 54:

National pollster John Zogby gives President Obama a grade of B- for week 55 of his presidency.

The president's Q&A with House Republicans showed Obama at his very best. The Democratic base needed to hear him take on the GOP, and he did it in a manner that pleased them and swing voters. If you have any doubts about that, consider that Fox cut off its live feed of the Q&A before it was over and MSNBC showed the whole thing in a two-hour replay special that night. Obama got back on message by declaring that he is not an ideologue, which was a big reason why independents supported him in 2008. Our polling found Obama getting a post-SOTU-speech bounce that brought his job approval back to 50 percent. The week's turbulence came from debate over whether to keep the Khalid Shaikh Mohammed trial in New York City. So it was a good week for atmospherics, but the big issues remain as implacable as ever.

Grade: B-

Last week: C

John Zogby is president and CEO of Zogby International, a public opinion, research, and business solutions firm with experience working in more than 70 countries around the globe. 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 is also the author of The Way We'll Be: The Zogby Report on the Transformation of the American Dream (Random House).