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Political Insiders Poll

Political Insiders Poll

The best and worst of 2010.

Will President Obama’s tax deal put him in a stronger or a weaker position with congressional Republicans next year?


Democrats (106 votes)


Stronger: 51%
Weaker: 21%
Doesn’t matter: 28%

“He has now demonstrated his willingness to work across the aisle. The GOP will need to demonstrate that they can too.”

“He is standing up to the liberals and winning.”


“With the Democratic congressional leadership finally in their place, the White House will be free to set the agenda and see it through in a centrist fashion.”

“But not by that much because the Republicans are going to come after his first-term legislative accomplishments 24/7.”

“Much tougher for them to demonize him when they’ve started out by breaking bread.”

“Anything that makes the economy better makes the president stronger.”


“He will be stronger next year only if he finds some areas of principled disagreement with the GOP. His dealings can’t be all agreement because eventually the liberal harping that he gets bad deals will make him look weak despite legislative progress.”

“With the largest Democratic majorities in Congress since the 1960s, it is sad to see what an easy touch the president has become for the Republicans.”

“He’ll now go into next year having to prove to the other side he won’t cave at the first sign of adversity.”

Doesn’t matter
“Republicans are the party of ‘what can you do for me today?’ They will not feel beholden to any goodwill achieved by this deal.”

“The congressional Republicans will ‘expletive delete’ him every time.”


Will President Obama’s tax deal put him in a stronger or a weaker position with congressional Republicans next year?


Republicans (106 votes)

Stronger: 56%
Weaker: 13%
Doesn’t matter: 31%

“A hard-left liberal cannot win in 2012, and the triangulation has begun.”

“At least the president is demonstrating a willingness to engage.”

“He has demonstrated his ability and willingness to go in the direction of the Republicans to achieve a compromise. Now, he can insist we do the same on another subject: START anyone?”

“A flexible, more successful opponent is always more difficult to outmaneuver.”

“After two years of paying lip service to bipartisanship, Obama has finally shown he is capable of working across the aisle.”

“By showing he’s willing to make a deal, he forces Republicans to come off the sidelines; and as president he’ll always have the bully pulpit and, therefore, the upper hand.”

“He’s finally taking control away from Pelosi and Reid. It’s essential to his own survival.”

“There’s blood in the water.”

“You give Boehner a cookie, he’s going to demand a glass of milk.”

“He sounded the retreat a little too quickly.”

Doesn’t matter
“The lame-duck session is the lame duck-session. Next year is next year.”

“Republicans smell blood in the water, and the president will get no quarter.”

“They’re so driven by righteous anger that they’ll do what they do regardless.”


Which political figure had the best year in 2010?


Democrats (107 votes)

John Boehner: 35%
Sarah Palin: 17%
Harry Reid: 14%
Bill Clinton: 5%
Haley Barbour: 3%

Also receiving votes: Jerry Brown, Scott Brown, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Mitch McConnell, Mitt Romney, tea party, 2 percent each; Michael Bennet, Michael Bloomberg, George W. Bush, Eric Cantor, Andrew Cuomo, Jim DeMint, Rahm Emanuel, Al Franken, Ed Gillespie, John Kerry, Lisa Murkowski, Barack Obama, Karl Rove, Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan, 1 percent each.

Boehner. “From obscurity to No. 1 Republican in the country.”

Boehner. “He is underestimated and won’t make the same mistakes previous arrogant Republican leaders have.”

Boehner. “He cried on national TV and it didn’t seem to damage his image. I guess everyone loves their bartender.”

Palin. “She went from a national joke to the Republican presidential primary front-runner. And she made over $10 million in the process!”

Palin. “Rebounds from defeated VP candidate, former governor, to tea party darling and ‘mama grizzly’ in demand everywhere.”

Reid. “Despite the wave, he’s back and he is back leading a majority.”

This article appears in the December 18, 2010 edition of National Journal Magazine.

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