WaPo asks: Did Obama maybe actually win this battle?
The Post has an article up a couple hours now trying to come up with a case that maybe Obama did alright ("Did Obama capitulate — or is this a cagey move?")
Not exactly the most impressive work from Peter Wallsten and David Nakamura. They even go for this:
And Obama, branded a socialist by many Republicans for his big-spending stimulus program and his health-care overhaul, can declare himself a deficit hawk as he courts the political middle.He could indeed do that! Turns out, though, there aren't all that many independents who care that much about the deficit. Yes, over the last year, polls show people care somewhat more about the deficit (not surprising considering the power and money going into the issue, and constant barrage from the columnists). But it's still mostly folks on the right. The independents who are actually in play, there's not much evidence you'd win many of them over by being a deficit hawk. And there is evidence that you lose a lot of them by threatening social security.
The White House presumably does indeed really think they can win over some independents this way. And they can tell that to the Washington Post. But the Post should give us some basic reporting on what the evidence is that the White House's strategy has a chance for success.