Obama Alone in the Middle on Afghanistan, Libya, Budget

By seeking middle ground, the president often finds himself alone.

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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: 127

"The president continues to seek middle ground, even if at times he is the only one there. His troop draw down numbers in Afghanistan are not enough for most Democrats and either too fast or too slow for some Republican presidential contenders. But Obama's approach may be just about right for mainstream voters. My most recent IBOPE Zogby interactive poll found 80% of voters want our troops withdrawn and are evenly split as to whether it should be done quickly or slowly. Troop safety is their main concern. On Libya, Obama is taking fire from both left and right, as Congress wants to have its say about our military assistance to rebels there. Negotiations on raising the debt ceiling may have taken a positive political turn for Obama, with Republicans rejecting a payroll tax cut for employers, leaving them exposed to charges they are putting next year's elections ahead of job creation. The Federal Reserve offered mildly encouraging news, saying the recovery is going on modestly and projecting that unemployment will head down again."

This week's grade: C+

Last week's: C-

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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