Obama's Hopeful Speech Beats Ryan's Fearful One

Any week in which President Obama can give a prime-time speech is a good one for him.

By + More

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: 106

"Any week in which President Obama can give a prime-time speech is a good one for him, and this State of the Union address was no exception. He was optimistic about the future, and was in tune with most voters when he promised a balance of job-creating investment and deficit-cutting reductions in wasteful spending. Rep. Paul Ryan's GOP response was tilted almost entirely toward cutting spending, and was much more fearful than optimistic. In the Old Testament, Prophet Isaiah promised hope after suffering while Prophet Jeremiah screamed about suffering because of man's sins. My guess is that Isaiah would have better poll numbers today. The other big event was Chinese President Hu Jintao's visit to Washington. It did not produce much news or action, but Hu's statement that "a lot still needs to be done in China in terms of human rights" was startling."

This week's grade: B+

Last week's: B+

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).

  • Check out our gallery of Whispers political caricatures.
  • See a slide show of 10 GOP Frontrunners for 2012.
  • See a slide show of 10 Democrats Targeted for Defeat in 2012.