I said it as it was going down. I said it once it passed. And now that the most recent polls are out, I will continue to say it...Obama is playing chess to the Republicans' checkers.
The obituaries for the Obama administration were ridiculous. As a practical matter, no matter how much the punditry wanted to say it was so, he comes out of the Stimulus Bill golden. While Hardball, Limbaugh, Hannity and Morning Joe want to talk about what a failure it was because he only got a few Republicans to support it, the electorate saw a President try to sit down with the opposing party and work something out. When they balked, he passed it anyway.
As Drum points out, it was all about "optics," and Obama won. Benen has a run down of the latest poll numbers. The AP shows 62% believing Obama is doing enough to reach out to Republicans while only 27% believe the Republicans are trying hard enough. Congressional Dems are leading Republicans 49% to 33% in approval ratings. FoxNews' latest poll is similar.
If the Republicans don't reevaluate their strategy, they had better get familiar with the wilderness.