Zogby: Watching Republicans Flail Works for Obama

Republican infighting can only help Obama.

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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.

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John Zogby on Week: 122

"The president wasn't a big news maker last week, and that is likely a good thing. Obama enjoyed watching Republicans flail at each other. Newt Gingrich provided copy for Democratic attack ads by calling the House Medicare plan 'right-wing extremism.' Pressure is mounting on House Speaker John Boehner to withhold House passage of the debt ceiling increase unless Obama and Senate Democrats agree to massive budget cuts. News that the budget deal for Fiscal 2011 actually increased spending embarrasses Boehner more than Obama, and gives Tea Party leaders more reason to be disappointed in Boehner's leadership. Two potential Republican presidential candidates pulled out. Donald Trump's harping about Obama's birth certificate had been a nuisance, and it sure looks like the president's release of the 'long-form' and the ridicule Trump was getting led to his exit. Mike Huckabee, who would have been a formidable vote getter with blue collar workers, claimed his 'heart said no' to running, but cynics may wonder if his pollster told him 2016 looked better. At the end of the week, Obama embraced an opportunity to look presidential again with a well-crafted speech on the Middle East that reasserted the U.S. role and values in the region."

This week's grade: B

Last week's: B+

John Zogby is Chairman of the Board and Chief Insights Officer for IBOPE Zogby International, a non-partisan public opinion, research, and business solutions firm with experience working in more than 70 countries around the globe. IBOPE 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).

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