Now that President Obama has pleased conservatives by getting Congress to pass his tax cut compromise and has thrilled liberals by finally repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," pundits are suggesting this could be the start of his big comeback. That's a pretty quick comeback from his political low point in November, when Congressional elections were swept by a wave of Republicans who have not even taken their seats yet. So are they right? Are we seeing an Obama resurgence this early? (In attempting to capture the mood of the national punditry, we at the Atlantic Wire have declared "Obama 2.0" not once but twice--in March and again two weeks ago--making this Obama's fourth incarnation in two years. Not bad!)
- 'The New Comeback Kid' That's what The Washington Post's conservative Charles Krauthammer dubs Obama. "If Barack Obama wins reelection in 2012, as is now more likely than not, historians will mark his comeback as beginning on Dec. 6, the day of the Great Tax Cut Deal of 2010. ... With his stunning tax deal, Obama is back. Holding no high cards, he nonetheless managed to resurface suddenly not just as a player but as orchestrator, dealmaker and central actor in a high $1 trillion drama."
- The Most Over-Used Phrase in Punditry "Before you grant the 'Comeback Kid' title," NBC News' Carrie Dann cautions, " keep in mind just how much the press occasionally enjoys searching for the next worthy recipient of the moniker famously self-submitted by Bill Clinton after his New Hampshire campaign rebound." She reproduces a "smattering" of the times that the media has collectively anointed a would-be presidential contender as "the new comeback kid." It turns out that list includes: John McCain, John Edwards, John Kerry, Bob Barr, Dick Gephardt, Dan Quayle, Al Gore, Bob Dole, and Bob Packwood. None of whom actually came back!
- 'Obama Builds Foundation from Wreckage' ABC News' Rick Klein writes, "It will get harder from here, but the seeds of a political comeback--or, at least, the suggestion that such a comeback is possible -- have been planted in the interim period before Republicans take over the House." He says the interim Congressional session proves as much. "The dizzying range of accomplishments has blurred party lines in some instances, and drawn them more thickly in other areas. And perhaps the only major political figure who can plausibly claim victory in all of the major areas is President Obama."
- Yes, But Only If Economy Rebounds Conservative blogger Paul Mirengoff writes that the tax compromise "may boost the economy and, in any event, if the economy revives it provides him with a plausible basis for taking credit." There are certainly a number of ways that Obama's hold over Congress could disintegrate "unless the economy is strong. In that scenario, Obama's re-election prospects will be good, and the tax deal may well be remembered as the turning point."
- How The Media Loves a Narrative The Washington Post's Ezra Klein points out these tweets within moments of each other:
Regardless of effect of tax cut deal on 2012, it will be framed as turning point in media narrative of any Obama comeback http://j.mp/fAXkSN
Obama comeback? Joining America's Newsroom on @foxnews at 10:15 AM ET to discuss. Hope you'll tune in.