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Surge Desk

With His Tax Cut Deal, Can We Call Obama the 'New Comeback Kid'?

Dec 17, 2010 – 1:07 PM
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JJ Helland

JJ Helland Editor

(Dec. 17) -- Barack Obama might have some of his mojo back.

At least The Washington Post's Charles Krauthammer certainly thinks so.

In a column today titled "The New Comeback Kid," Krauthammer says the president not only scored a policy coup (he actually referred to it as a "swindle") with the tax package passed by the House last night, but that Dec. 6, the day the legislative deal with Republicans was announced, could mark the day things really turned around for Obama.

Here's more from Krauthammer:

Remember the question after Election Day: Can Obama move to the center to win back the independents who had abandoned the party in November? And if so, how long would it take? Answer: five weeks. An indoor record, although an asterisk should denote that he had help -- Republicans clearing his path and sprinkling it with rose petals.

And Krauthammer goes on say that Obama's apparent move to the middle, symbolized by his recent meeting with Bill Clinton (the other "comeback kid"), ultimately won't cost him much with his liberal base. Why? Krauthammer says it has nowhere else to go.

But some on the left are already going somewhere.

According to a recent Gallup poll, Obama's support among liberal Democrats has taken a hit.

Liberal Democrats remain strong supporters of President Obama, but their approval of the job he is doing has fallen noticeably since the midterm elections. For the first time, it dropped below 80 percent in the week after the announcement of the tax deal he brokered with congressional Republicans.

Not everyone agrees with Krauthammer's belief that an angry base is no big deal for the president.

Politico's Roger Simon thinks Obama's recent political maneuvering could leave him open to a primary challenge in 2012. Simon says some top Democrats, who currently say they've got no interest in going after the president, might change their minds if poll numbers show Obama losing out to GOP contenders.

More from Simon:

The excuse for a Democrat running against a sitting Democratic president in a primary goes like this: "If President Obama can't beat the likely Republican nominee, the Democratic Party has a duty to nominate someone who can."

For now, Obama seems to be in pretty good shape when it comes to 2012. But 2012 is still a ways away, and a lot can happen between now and then.

Especially with a Republican-controlled House.

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