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May 15, 2012

Obama, 2009: I'd Give Myself a "Solid B Plus" For My Handling of the Economy
Obama, Today: I Can't Give Myself a Letter Grade; It's Still Incomplete

He went from a B+ to an "incomplete"?

From Team Romney...

In December 2009, President Obama Gave Himself A “Good Solid B Plus” For His Work During His First Eleven Months In Office. “US President Barack Obama, in remarks aired late Sunday, awarded himself a B plus for his first 11 months in office, stressing in an interview with talk show queen Oprah Winfrey that there was still much to be done. ‘A good solid B plus,’ Obama said during an hour-long, intimate soft-focus ABC network Christmas at the White House special, when Winfrey asked what grade he would give himself.” (“Obama Gives Himself B+ For First Months In Office,”AFP, 12/14/09)

But today, President Obama refused to give an answer altogether.

· This Morning On “The View,” President Obama Refused To Give Himself A Letter Grade For His Work On The Economy.

HASSELBECK: “Mr. President, I believe it was with Matt Lauer in 2009, you sat down, you were talking about the economy and you said in three years I’ll be held accountable. If I don’t have this done, quote, in three years, then there’s going to be a one-term proposition. Admittedly so in our first segment, you said that Americans are still feeling the hurt of the economy. So how do you grade yourself, honestly, in terms of how you’ve done in terms of economics?

OBAMA: “You know, I won’t give us a letter grade. I think it’s still incomplete.”

Why no grade? Geraghty explains:

… Obama can’t really argue for anything more than a “C” at best, and then the headline would be, “Obama Gives Himself a ‘C’ on the Economy.” If Obama had given any letter grade, really, either an unrealistically good grade or a realistically disappionting grade, he would have provided the Romney campaign with days worth of fodder. The only question was whether the message would be “out of touch, rosy-colored glasses, ignoring the 23 million Americans suffering” or “even Obama admits that his economic policies have failed.”

Yes. The only quote that he could bear would be a B or better, but if he claimed that, the public would realize He Doesn't Know What The Hell He's Talking About.

He needs to say a B or better, but he can't say a B or better. Because he's failing, and he knows it. And, more importantly, the public knows it, and would think he's a lunatic if he claimed to be doing B-level work.

And speaking of tipping points, Rasmussen shows Romney beating Obama on all five top issues this cycle -- economy, taxes, health care, national security, and energy.

This is a phenomenon I noticed, to my dismay, in 2008. When the public moved to support Obama, they began saying they trusted him more on every single issue, even those on which it was silly to say he edged McCain on, like energy and national security.

I chalk this up to a sort of Reverse Buyer's Remorse: When you decide to make a major investment, as in a car, you start selling yourself on the idea that it's just the best at everything. The on the one hand, on the other hand thing is pre-decision; post-decision, I think, many people stop thinking that the non-selected cars have any advantages, and egotistically decide the selection they made is superior in all ways.

Ergo, this could be just another data point indicating that people are now deciding, formally, what they softly, quietly decided two years ago: Obama Doesn't Know What The Hell He's Talking About.

And speaking of people who don't know what the hell they're talking about, but make every judgment not on facts but according to Sacred Law recorded in political Holy Texts: That big, big NYT poll was buried by the NYT, on Page 17.

Not only did they bury it in Page 17 -- they buried the obvious lede in paragraph 15 (out of 19) and didn't report the other big headline at all.

In paragraph 15 out of 19, the Times revealed that Romney was leading by three in the head to head contest, 46%-43%, a gap within the poll's margin of error. The Times's poll partner CBS led with those figures in its own online poll story. The Times also didn't mention the inconvenient fact that after all the talk fired by Democrats and the media of a Republican "war on women," Romney led Obama among women 46%-44%.

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