Arianna appeared on "This Week" with Christiane Amanpour on Sunday, as part of a roundtable with George Will, Chrystia Freeland and David Stockman.
The group started by discussing Paul Ryan's budget plan, and Arianna pointed out that the stunning thing about the "incredible shrinking budget debate" is that we're focusing on what we're cutting, rather than talking about what is happening in the country in terms of jobs.
"You go around the country, and there is this anxiety, this fear about kids graduating from college and not being able to get jobs," she said. "The foreclosures are still rampant. Even Mitt Romney actually took this on in New Hampshire and sounded like a real populist talking about the problems of people not being able to make ends meet."
The guests also discussed Donald Trump and whether the release last week of Obama's birth certificate would settle the birther controversy.
"In times of deep economic anxiety," Arianna pointed out, "paranoid politics can thrive, and demagoguery can thrive, and people can believe things for which there is no evidence."
George Will, discussing the potential Republican candidates for president in 2012, said "The Republicans have to simply nominate someone who is a plausible president, and then it becomes a referendum on Mr. Obama."
"George has a point here," Arianna replied. "And Seth Meyers made that point last night [at the White House Correspondents' Dinner] in a way when he said 'The one person who can really beat you, Mr. President, is Obama '08,' and 'Don't you miss him?' effectively. 'What happened to him?'"
"I was talking to a hardcore Democrat after the dinner, who said to me, 'That Obama is gone. He's not coming back. We just have to win.'" Arianna said.
"So this is what's happened, and it's an interesting dynamic. Hardcore Democrats are just about winning, but the problem for the White House is all the first-time voters who came out in large numbers and really got him to the White House in '08 -- are they coming back? Because they're not just about winning, they were inspired."