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Pundits & Editorials

Frank calls Mark Sanford naive, and Krugman sounds off on cap-and-trade legislation. Plus: Is Obama the most polarizing president?

• "Despite calls for a 'post-partisan' presidency, a recent Pew Research Center study found that President Obama has the most polarized early job approval ratings for a new president in 40 years," Amy Walter points out.

Michael Gerson notes that "it is a sad, unnecessary shame that" Obama, "the candidate of unity, has so quickly become another source of division."


• Also referencing the Pew survey, Charlie Cook tells readers: "If you're going to watch any specific subgroup, watch the independents. Democrats will stick with Obama no matter what, and most Republicans are out of reach."

• "Obama returns home as a successful world traveler. While he can't boast of tangible achievements, he set a tone with world leaders that resonates back home with his own constituents," John Mercurio asserts.

John Dickerson assesses the rhetoric Obama used while in Europe.


Kathleen Parker evaluates the level of manliness Obama exuded on his trip: If Bush "was a cowboy, Obama is a group hug."

Martin Wolf puts forth what he thinks the G-20 leaders must discuss now that the summit is over.

Ruth Marcus predicts that Dawn Johnsen, Obama's nominee to head the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, will "trigger ... a Senate filibuster and indignant squeals from members of the President's party" like George W. Bush's nominee for U.N. Ambassador, John Bolton, did.

Thomas Frank calls Gov. Mark Sanford, R-S.C., "touchingly naive" and quips that he has "probably been waiting his entire career for the chance to conspicuously turn down federal money."


• "Just because a federal judge dismissed all charges Tuesday against former Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens [R] doesn't mean he's not a crook," the Los Angeles Times maintains.

Margaret Carlson does not approve of the way Gov. Sarah Palin, R-Alaska, has been putting herself -- or her family -- in the news lately.

• "Republicans have already lost" New York's 20th Congressional District because "the Republican brand is still toxic enough to stink up even the most promising of pickup opportunities," Markos Moulitsas argues in The Hill.

John Fund predicts that in the midterm elections "left-wing activist" Democrats will challenge "moderate Democrats."

• "Since the opponents of cap-and-trade are going to pillory" Democrats' legislation "as a tax anyway, why not go for the real thing -- a simple, transparent, economy-wide carbon tax?" Paul Krugman suggests.

• "The American labor movement proclaimed its intention to come back together," Harold Meyerson declares, referencing a newly formed union made up of the country's 12 largest unions.

• The Washington Post lauds recent action on gay marriage in Vermont and D.C.

• "The Legislature made history by enacting the marriage equality bill, the first state to do so without being directed by a court. Vermonters can be proud," the state's Burlington Free Press exults.

USA Today argues in favor of the Defense Department budget cuts Secretary Robert Gates announced this week.

• American Enterprise Institute fellow Thomas Donnelly argues against the cuts in an opposing view.

• The New York Times charges that Gates "did not go far enough" in his proposal.

• The Financial Times believes that Gates' moves to cut military spending should "be largely applauded."

• Reacting to Obama's unannounced visit to Iraq yesterday, the Wall Street Journal remarks that "the most pleasant surprise has been Mr. Obama's near-about face on Iraq since becoming President."

• "Although we immediately think his missile launch is all about us," Kim Jong Il's "gesture is aimed just as much at domestic consumption during a time of growing concern about his health problems and lack of an established successor," Clarence Page contends.

• "Imagine the good that could come from" Warren Buffett "buying out the Kims and giving North Korea to Obama. It will never happen, of course, but one can dream of a Buffettland above the 38th parallel," William Pesek quips.

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