‘who is washington’s most effective politician?’

Here are the political accomplishments: defeating the most heavily favored party machine in decades (the Clintons) while actually bringing his biggest rival into his cabinet, where she has performed extraordinarily well; helping to cement the GOP’s broad identity as extremists opposed to compromise; entrenching black and Hispanic loyalty to his party; retaining solid favorables and not-too-shabby approval ratings during the worst recession since the 1930s. 44 percent of the country still (rightly) blame Bush for this mess, only 15 percent blame Obama.

On policy: ending the US torture regime; prevention of a second Great Depression; enacting universal healthcare; taking the first serious steps toward reining in healthcare costs; two new female Supreme Court Justices; ending the gay ban in the military; ending the Iraq war; justifying his Afghan Surge by killing bin Laden and now disentangling with face saved; firming up alliances with India, Indonesia and Japan as counter-weights to China; bailing out the banks and auto companies without massive losses (and surging GM profits); advancing (slowly) balanced debt reduction without drastic cuts during the recession; and financial re-regulation.

…. When I read commentaries expounding on the notion that this man is completely out of his depth, I just have to scratch my head. Given his inheritance, this has been the most substantive first term since Ronald Reagan’s. And given Obama’s long-game mentality, that is setting us up for a hell of a second one.

72 Responses to “‘who is washington’s most effective politician?’”

  1. 1 LYNND
    August 5, 2011 at 6:15 pm

    I almost gagged when I read that someone tried to crown the turtle as the most effective pol. What a bunch of BS!!!

    • 2 Me4obama
      August 5, 2011 at 6:22 pm

      That was Howard Fineman who said that turtle was more effective.

      • 3 Sue in Minnesota
        August 5, 2011 at 6:42 pm

        Turtle and Howard are bosom buds.

        • August 5, 2011 at 7:55 pm

          I am so sick of Howard Fineman. He makes me sick. Remember during the primaries he had dyed red hair? Really red hair with lots of hair pray. He must make a ton of money off of msnbc. I also remember his saying he did not care for Obama’s style of campaigning.

          I am so happy to see that someone, even if he is a independent, and is always up and down on Obama, understands the power and the ability of PBO to get stuff done. In fact, way to go Andrew!

          Sue, I think we should call them the turtle and his turd.

  2. 5 GGail
    August 5, 2011 at 6:15 pm

    I concur Mr. Sullivan! Thanks Chipsticks for posting this – PRICELESS!!!!

  3. 6 Me4obama
    August 5, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    Does anyone know where PBO’s Bus tour will be going. Which cities. May be I will go check out my Man Jay Carney’s announcements on Wed.

    • 7 hopefruit2
      August 5, 2011 at 7:08 pm

      I’m looking forward to the bus tour. And unlike Grifter Girl, our President will not be calling it quits half-way. He will do the full tour and the people will appreciate his presence in their cities and towns.

    • 8 hopefruit2
      August 5, 2011 at 7:18 pm

      Okay – the media is positively spooked by the idea of PBO doing this bus tour. They are FRIGHTENED if not downright angry. All negative reporting -not one neutral or positive article about this bus tour on “Teh Googles” or “Teh Cables.” That’s a sign to me that the President made the right decision to do this tour.

      • 9 EDP4BHO
        August 5, 2011 at 8:48 pm

        I just stated this same opinion at WSY. They are indeed scared, but what blows my mind is how Tweety is so overly concerned ( I read, I don’t watch him). He has this bit of commercial lauding PBO’s Americanism, yet he can’t fathom the idea of this bus tour. I’m so sure it’s not because he’s afraid of his safety…/snark/….right?

  4. 10 utaustinliberal
    August 5, 2011 at 6:36 pm

    Bravo! Andrew Sullivan. Bravo! This is what the pundits, GOP, and PL try to obfuscate from the people. They know that legislatively, policy wise, and politics wise; President Obama is light years ahead of them. If more people would educate themselves they would see that Barack Obama is not only an excellent politician, but welds brilliant use of executive power.

  5. 11 FiredUpInCA
    August 5, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    Al Gore calls for an American Spring. So, of course, Fox News loses it (at the link. I don’t want to repost their propaganda here.):

    “We need to have an American Spring. You know, the Arab Spring—the nonviolent part of it isn’t finished yet—but we need to have an American Spring, a kind of an American Tahrir Square. Non-violent change, where people from the grassroots get involved again.

    Not in the Tea Party style. There are people who are genuinely upset in the Tea Party, I understand that, but that movement was funded with seed money from right-wing billionaires, the Koch brothers, and promoted on Fox News and turned into a stalking horse for this right-wing agenda that a lot of people have been trying to push on this country for a long time. What’s sacrosanct for them is to have absolutely no tax increases on the wealthiest Americans. They’re at a low level now, and to try to shrink down government so they can get it out of the way of powerful corporations and special interests so that they can have free reign, and the Supreme Court of course has now declared that they’re persons and can make those secret contributions.

    I want to tell you, Keith, this country is in trouble. Our democracy has been withering on the vine, it really has been. This has been going on for some time. But this is not an event that can be taken lately. I know it’s difficult to imagine that the people who care about the values that this country was based on will rise up and get much more involved in the democratic process, but that is exactly what we need and that is the only thing that can get our country back on the right track.”


  6. August 5, 2011 at 6:53 pm

    President Barack Hussein Obama is the MOST EFFECTIVE Leader in WASHINGTON!

  7. August 5, 2011 at 7:00 pm

    Ok. I know I’m not really suppose to be sniffing around Politico, but I found this article here that may be of some interest:

    Obama ‘smarter’ than critics, says Alan Simpson

    • 14 Linda
      August 5, 2011 at 7:05 pm

      Oh my……what horrible people comment over there.

      • August 5, 2011 at 7:09 pm

        I know. I try not to look at the comments. They are really spewing hate.

        • August 5, 2011 at 7:27 pm

          You might try a Google search if you see a Politico article. It’s probably coming from AP or Reuters at the least or some other site like WaPo will have it. Whatever we click on is counted by these sites. They don’t know if people are looking because they hate it or love it. They just know it gets attention.

          About the negative comments — I was reading today that Americans for Prosperity have workshops teaching tea party types how to manipulate using the Internet. I don’t say that so that you feel angry at them, but just to know that it’s not what the majority of people think. For our own mental health as well as being effective in getting PBO elected, we need to not let this kind of behavior make us lose focus. The more they do it, the more people know what they are like. I’ll put an article below about the shrinking Tea Party and there was another one about the more people find out about the Tea Party, the less they like it.

          IHere’s the article on Americans for Prosperity


          The Tea Party is at an all time low


          The Incredible Shrinking Tea Party
          By Greg Sargent
          If there’s one thing the debt ceiling battle revealed, it’s that the Tea Party continues to enjoy outsized influence in Washington in general and over the GOP in particular.

          So it’s interesting to note that according to the internals of today’s New York Times poll, the Tea Party is rapidly shrinking before our very eyes, and is hemorraging supporters at a surprising rate:

          Do you consider yourself to be a supporter of the Tea Party movement, or not?
          Yes 18
          No 73
          The 18 percent who self-identify as Tea Party supporters is at its lowest point, tying the 18 percent who supported it way back in April of 2010, when it was first gaining steam as the Congressional races of last cycle began heating up.

          Poll shows negative view of Tea Party on the rise


          Republicans unsure about embracing Tea Party


        • August 5, 2011 at 8:14 pm

          Donna, when you are jealous of someone you spew hate. You are not jealous of someone who’s as dumb,or ugly or broke as you. But you can’t handle it if it’s a strong, intelligent, handsome, black man. Who have achieve more than you have. It eats their racists asses up.

    • August 5, 2011 at 7:14 pm

      donna, good catch! Simpson has praised the President before–I was trying to find the links for you, but couldn’t.

      He has also castigated the GOP. He’s also said totally outrageous things about the President and everyone else at one time or another.

      He’s quite the loose cannon, but I really love it when he goes after the GOP.

    • August 5, 2011 at 7:44 pm

      Geeze Alan, DUH, ya think?

    • August 5, 2011 at 8:11 pm

      Donna it is terrific. Lawrence has had Simpson on a few times now. He is plenty sharp and knows how to tell it like it is. Remember the way the left treated him and went after Obama for having him on the committee? They savaged the president. Now he is appearing on MSNBC fairly regularly. Good on him. Anyone the emoprogs hate, I am now embracing.

  8. August 5, 2011 at 7:04 pm

    The President Andrew Sullivan sees the one that I see. His record is amazing. And he is still at work, no matter the circumstances — still working toward his goals. Two examples, the recent deal with automakers for higher mpg and his proposal for a jobs bill for unemployed veterans. Excellent article Chipsticks. Thanks for posting this.

  9. 24 Ladyhawke
    August 5, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    Looks like the focus on the FAA re-authorization stalemate by President Obama, Press Secretary jay Carney, Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, Minority Leader Pelosi, Whip Steny Hoyer, Majority Leader Reid, Senator Schumer, Senator Boxer, and Senator Rockefeller was too much sunlight for Representative John Mica (R) who is a JOBS KILLER. Poor baby, cry me a river won’t you.



  10. 25 Bobfr
    August 5, 2011 at 7:51 pm

    Interesting speculation on S&P downgrading the US and that one of the reasons being cited is Republican intransigence on increasing revenue:


    As many of us have noted, President Obama gave the Radical Republicans every opportunity to do something great. Instead they did major damage to America and scampered to their vacation hideaways. The hostage will more than get even come Nov 2012.

    Yes.We.Can. … DO.More.Together!

    • 26 Kasai
      August 5, 2011 at 8:32 pm

      Wow…So Bob, does this mean that the Republicans have to increase in spending? so that we can maintain an AAA ratings?

      If so, what would be the process….sorry I am just not knowledgeable about this stuff..only reason i am learning politics..is President Obama:-)

      • 27 Bobfr
        August 5, 2011 at 8:50 pm

        Hi Kasai,

        What it means is that S&P recognizes that the US collects significantly less revenue than an economy of its size should and that it disproportionally collects revenue from those least able to afford it.

        The place for the process to begin is by Congress legislating the elimination of 180 tax subsidies identified by the Simpson-Bowles Commission. Those ‘loopholes’ only benefit the top 4 % of all Americans. As Sen Simpson noted yesterday evening in his conversation with Lawrence O’Donnell, those 180 tax benefits for the richest Americans total $ 1T per year in lost revenue. In other words, with a balanced approach that adjusted revenue, simplified the tax code, and brought defense spending into the realm of reasonableness the US would have no deficit ever and would, once again, begin accumulating a surplus thereby placing it, because of our democratic standards and support of the inalienable rights of all persons, in a genuine global leadership position.

        All the Radical Republicans did by walking away – several times – from President Obama’s genuine attempt at a balanced, major piece of legislation is delay the inevitable. President Obama and the Congress we elect in 2012 will achieve the goals of a fair tax code, solid revenue and investment in the future of America. The Grand Old Terrorist Party (GOTP) is making it easier for us every day to achieve that goal as they alienate more and more Americans.

        Yes.We.Can. … DO.More.Together!

  11. 29 DreamChaser57
    August 5, 2011 at 8:19 pm

    Hi TOD Family –

    Just got this CNN news alert in my inbox. Obama rocks, plain and simple! On two fronts – (1) he has hired/appointed people smart enough to challenge S&P on their rating, to look at their methodology which I’m sure is complex and nuanced. (2) Obama is about handling business despite the forces arrayed against him, he stays intensely focused on the overarching goal, making this country a better place

    Extra warm & fuzzy kudos to Obama and his team.

    Subject: CNN Breaking News

    Ratings agency Standard & Poor’s served notice that it planned to downgrade the U.S. government’s AAA credit rating but is reconsidering, a senior Obama administration official said.

    The official said the agency acknowledged some errors after the administration challenged S&P’s analysis of the government’s revenue and deficit picture.

    The source, a senior official involved in the discussions, insisted the agency was off by “trillions” in its economic model.

    The AAA rating enables nations to borrow funds at lower costs because their governments are considered stable and their bonds safe.

    • 30 Me4obama
      August 5, 2011 at 8:25 pm

      Amen Dream, he is such an excellent President and too good at it. I hope he is getting some R&R he truly deserves.

      • 31 DreamChaser57
        August 5, 2011 at 8:36 pm

        We’ve (meaning USA) has just been downgraded! This is tragic. Congress has made a @#@%^! public spectacle out of this situation. Rating agencies are overzealous since they were asleep at the wheel at the height of the 2008 Great Recession. This is so infuriating and unnecessary.
        CNN Breaking News

        Rating aency Standard & Poor’s says it has downgraded the U.S. credit rating to AA+ from its top rank of AAA.

        Rating agencies analyze risk and give debt a “grade” that reflects the borrower’s ability to pay the underlying loans.

        The safest bets are stamped AAA. That’s where U.S. debt stood for years.

    • August 5, 2011 at 8:31 pm

      S&P says we are now AA+.

  12. August 5, 2011 at 8:36 pm

    Fucking repugs. They are so so fucking dumb. I hope people here the reason we were downgraded: REPUBLICANS!!!!!!!!! and their REFUSAL TO RAISE TAXES which showed that they WERE NOT SERIOUS ABOUT DEBT REDUCTION!!!!! Mofoing A-hole bastards!!!!!!!
    ps- Okay. I needed to get that out of my system

  13. 38 Me4obama
    August 5, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    Orange got 98% of what he wanted and we got a down grade. Tweet away.

    • August 5, 2011 at 8:52 pm

      if 98% of a downgrade is what he wanted, well bully for him. I hope DNC and DCCC are paying attention. The repugs have been giving Dems ALOT of gifts for the past 8 months. I want to see attack ads featuring Bonehead talking about how downgrade was what he wanted, I want to see Paul Ryan look-a-likes throwing granny off the cliff, I want Elephant hide!!!!! I want there to be a revolution that CRUSHES the repugs for 30 years! I don’t want another repuke in power ANYWHERE. I want people shunning the Repugs. I want blood…….. okay, forget that, I want something more important: I want their SEATS!!!!!
      ps- I was too pissed to pay attention to being PC. No actual elephants were harmed in my rant and I Do Not Support the massacre of these lovely creatures……… but the jackasses who use them as their mascot need a swift kick up the ass. 😡

  14. 40 Kasai
    August 5, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    LOL…Say it loud Me4Obama………..TEAHDIST…..

    Isn’t it amazing…that these Republicans are always on the wrong side of history, called themselves Christians, Patriotic, Real Americans

    Yet there’s absolutely nothing that demonstrate their Patriotism:

    Going back to Clinton’s years…They spent millions, in Scandal-Gate, WhiteWater-Gate and so on…While OBL sent signals that he was about to attack the US. Now these TEAHADIST….are holding PBO for getting OBL…and keeping us safe.

    Spent 3 years on Birther-Gate, only to destruct us from Jobs and the Economy, by holding on to Stimulus Money so that unemployment rate stays High…Some used it to balance the budget, rather than to create jobs.

    They created an atmosphere of Hatred…that resulted in killing of innocent people everywhere…from Arizona to Norway.

    TO CALL THEM “TERRORISTS” is an understatement!

  15. 41 GGail
    August 5, 2011 at 8:52 pm

    The people who voted for a Tea Party Rep…live among us. The people who stayed home during the Mid-Term elections…live among us. We can no longer AFFORD to be a SILENT segment of America who complain amongst ourselves. OBAMA/BIDEN 2012!

  16. August 5, 2011 at 8:54 pm

    I don’t know how much this matters. I think S&P just probably ended their relevance more than anything. How can a unregulated ratings org try and tell the US how it should run itself? Say it needed more cuts or more revenues? What is the super congress for? Isn’t this the ratings company that had AAA ratings on the mortgage bonds?

  17. 43 Kasai
    August 5, 2011 at 9:01 pm

    I am going out to register some folks this weekend….I live in a Red State…Oh boy!! They will be hearing from me with fact and a happy face:-)…..Time to hit the street…and make my voice heard.

    I am reminded by this great quote by Emperor Haile Selassie

    “Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted; the indifference of those who should have known better; the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most; that has made it possible for evil to triumph.”

  18. 44 Bobfr
    August 5, 2011 at 9:08 pm

    For those with Twitter accounts, may I suggest



    “Tea Party out performs bin Laden in wrecking US economy”

    Yes.We.Can. … DO.More.Together!

  19. 45 Kasai
    August 5, 2011 at 9:11 pm

    Ok…thanks BOB…Will be Tweeting..with the #GOPGREED…..nice:-)

  20. 46 Kasai
    August 5, 2011 at 9:11 pm

    #AAA to AA# Is now Trending on Tweeter

  21. August 5, 2011 at 9:14 pm

    This is from CBS:

    “More broadly, the downgrade reflects our view that the effectiveness, stability, and predictability of American policymaking and political institutions have weakened at a time of ongoing fiscal and economic challenges to a degree more than we envisioned when we assigned a negative outlook to the rating on April 18, 2011,” according to S&P in a statement.

    It added: “The outlook on the long-term rating is negative. We could lower the long-term rating to ‘AA’ within the next two years if we see that less reduction in spending than agreed to, higher interest rates, or new fiscal pressures during the period result in a higher general government debt trajectory than we currently assume in our base case.”

    A credit-rating downgrade typically leads to higher interest rates, and would have a huge impact on the economy by making it more expensive for the government, companies and consumers to borrow money. Moody’s has never given the U.S. government anything lower than its top rating since it began evaluating the country’s debt in 1917.


    S&P is wondering: where the fuck are the taxes?

  22. 50 Kasai
    August 5, 2011 at 9:17 pm

    I hope that the President….is able to sign an executive order for a “Stimulus” or increase on speniding..due to the latest developments, to increase our spending to gain faith and credibility,,,but most importantly to stimulate the economy.

  23. 51 Sandy1110
    August 5, 2011 at 9:19 pm

    The Andrew Sullivan article is driving some Obama haters crazy over on other blogs. They’re having a meltdown and trying to tear down Sullivan’s credibility. They wouldn’t say a word if he had bashed PBO instead!

  24. 52 utaustinliberal
    August 5, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    Hey guys lets not panic yet about the downgrade. S&P has ALWAYS made mistakes when it comes to bonds and ratings. They were part of the root problem of the stock market crash in 2008. They bought many junk bonds from private equity firms, private companies, and rated them as excellent. Also they admitted that their math was off by $2 trillion regarding our future deficit. They also added that the downgrade they gave will not affect our borrowing power and us borrowing at low rates, the reason they gave us the downgrade was because they were unhappy at the political games played by congress especially the republicans during the debt negotiations. Every economist I’ve been watching and reading have said that the government should have abolished S&P’s power a loooooong time ago, because 9 times out of 10 their math is always wonky and flawed. Every economist is saying that the Obama Admin. and the Treasury was right to fight this downgrade and they are right to call it a useless downgrade from AAA to AA+. I expect the treasury will continue to fight their flawed math and they will have to bring us back up to AAA credit rating.

    • 53 utaustinliberal
      August 5, 2011 at 9:26 pm

      ps: Remember that there three ratings agencies. Moody’s and another agency. With the other two agencies we’re still at AAA, so it doesn’t affect our interest rates and borrowing power for now. Jared Bernstein who was the Chief of Staff for VP Biden and is now an economist with the Center of Budget and Policy is on Rachel and he said people should not panic. That the debt deal was good enough to satisfy any ratings agency and S&P’s baseline math with respect to our GDP was conducted erroneously. He says they have to go back and look at their math. That the US is still a completely reliable borrower and S&P’s math was CATEGORICALLY wrong and they have to fix it.

      • August 5, 2011 at 9:34 pm

        Fitch I believe. Fitch and Moody’s still said we are AAA and that the plan(with triggers) signed by PBO is a good first step in serious debt reduction.
        ps- completely disregarding the fact that Berstein is on a show that shall never be named by me specifically because of the heifer hosting it, in regards to the S&P methodology, PBO challenged it and S&P still downgraded us, to which the Admin reportedly replied that it was “amateur hour at S&P,” so Berstein is right.

    • August 5, 2011 at 9:28 pm

      you’re right UT, we shouldn’t panic, but I’m just so mad. This shouldn’t have happened and it didn’t have to happen. I want to make sure repugs are held responsible. No spin job they try to use to stick this on PBO should be entertained by the left or the right. I hope people really hold the repugs’ feet to the fire. I’d really hoped PBO’s weekend would be a clean worry free ( well, as worry free as his weekend could be given who he is and the nature of his job) one. I hope COC and Wall Street are really chewing out Bonehead and Turtle.

    • August 5, 2011 at 9:29 pm

      I hope the Administration do what it has to do. Despite it all, the T-Republicans are responsible for the B.S. they put this entire country through. The voters better use their common sense if they have any and kick these crazy Tea Party folks, and the non Tea Party Republicans out of the Congress.

    • 57 Bobfr
      August 5, 2011 at 9:39 pm

      All excellent, and correct, observations, ut.

      I just recommend we seize this moment and use it for all the political capital it enables us to stockpile.

      Thus, I’ve posted the following at several sites and truly encourage everyone to spread it.

      A simple response to the S&P downgrade:

      “Tea Party out performs bin Laden in wrecking US economy”

      Force the meme of the Teahadists willful destruction of the US to benefit the wealthiest few because that’s the only objective of #GOPGREED

      Yes.We.Can. … DO.More.Together!

  25. 58 Kasai
    August 5, 2011 at 9:26 pm

    I hope that they don’t…unless they ask GOP to amend the debt ceiling that includes Revenue….I was hoping it was true.
    These Rethugs need a wake up call….after all they were ready to take us to Default…so what’s an AA rating

  26. August 5, 2011 at 9:30 pm

    Twitter is blowing up. Another hashtag gaining steam is #heckuvajobteaparty

    TOD twitter brigade, you know what to do.

  27. 65 Me4obama
    August 5, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    It’s their fault that for the first time they threatened to blow up the economy, we have the tapes and I hope we hold the media accountable to play the tapes of Teahadist threatening to do it.

  28. 66 Kasai
    August 5, 2011 at 9:36 pm

    Boehner is already blaming first downgrade in history “Under Obama”………Wow!!!
    I hope the Administration is wide awake…and be in all talk show this Sunday…this silence is Unacceptable

    • August 5, 2011 at 9:38 pm

      PBO knows the power of the narrative. He knows he’s gotta control it and he will.But hopefully the public will help him by remembering who said that downgrade wasn’t a big deal and that they got 98% of what they wanted. I hope the goldfish memory thing doesn’t start kicking in anytime soon.

    • 68 hopefruit2
      August 5, 2011 at 9:45 pm

      Boehner’s credibility is ZERO with the majority of the American people. So let him and his media cronies go yapping their fly traps on the Sunday Republican talking points show, and see how much traction they will get. We will be on Twitter in full force.

  29. 69 lmrj
    August 5, 2011 at 9:50 pm

    Guess the markets went crazy yesterday because they were given a “heads up” by their cronies.

  30. 70 Kasai
    August 5, 2011 at 9:54 pm

    Did you see some of the republicans…all going crazy on Tweeter…

    Yeah, I kind of knew this thing about electing a community organizer wasn’t going to last…

    I can’t believe in how fast these Rethugs are out in force..saying “First Time in History S&P Downgrade under Obama’s Watch”

    Vacation or not they out there….WE need to fight back…by email, tweeter…calls…we can’t let them write the narrative for the Media to buy it.

  31. 71 Bobfr
    August 5, 2011 at 9:56 pm

    ‘Bin Laden no match for Boehner in wrecking America’

  32. 72 hopefruit2
    August 5, 2011 at 10:06 pm

    Since President Obama killed OBL, the Repugs have gone batshit insane. President Obama did something they thought he never could or would do, and national security was supposed to be their one and only trump card that he couldn’t touch. Well, he touched it, and TRUMPED them, Donald Trump and birther issue in one weekend, and since them they have gone STIR CRAZY, trying to manipulate the economy, the stock market, fooling around with the debt ceiling and deficit in their efforts to destroy this President. I’m telling you Republicans will not stop at anything – I am prepared for anything at this point, including attempts on his life.

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