President Barack Obama has yet to win over many Republican or conservative admirers. Yet, there can be little doubt that most of his detractors are doing better today than they were on January 20, 2009 when he was first sworn into office.
Obama can take comfort in knowing that he's not the first occupant of the Executive Mansion whose legacy was written off prematurely. Abraham Lincoln, for one, had little cause to celebrate his birthday one hundred and fifty years ago.
It's a tough place for Obama to be in with the GOP loaded for bear against him, and Democrats ready to do battle hard against him on what they won't accept in a budget deal. It's a problem that's far bigger for Obama than the momentary drop of a few points in an approval poll.
Today, NBC's First Read newsletter suggested that Obama's approval ratings are down as a result of his deficit speech last week. But political events rarely have a significant effect on public opinion.
The reality is that Obama's current standing -- and the rush to blame it on tactical failures -- could be predicted months ago based on structural factors. His approval ratings largely reflect a poor economy.