Tax Cut Fight Is Early Present to Obama

Obama scores big for 2012 with payroll tax fight resolved.

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National pollster John Zogby gives President Obama a grade of B for week 153 of his presidency.

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: 153

Now that President Obama is belatedly joining his family in Hawaii, it may have been worth the wait for the political benefit of the House Republicans refusal to back a temporary extension of the payroll tax cut. The president won a clear victory. Even the Wall Street Journal's editorial writers asked how the GOP's "circular firing squad" is managing to lose the tax issue to Obama.

And GOP reps heard an earful from their angry constitutents. Republicans gambled on brinksmanship in 1995 allowing the government to shutdown—and helped ensure Bill reelection. The evidence from polling shows Obama's approval rating on the rise to near 50%, four times that of Congress. Consumer holiday spending has been pleasantly robust, which may at least help the perception our economy is inching forward. So it's shaping up as politically positive (even if personally lonely) holiday weekend for Mr. Obama.

Grade: B

This week's grade: B

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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  • Updated 12/23/11