Exactly one month ago today, President Obama, at least on a surface level, looked like he was in a very discouraging place. A day earlier, the Republican Party had not only scored a series of big wins in the 2014 midterms, the White House was confronted with the realization that the GOP would dominate control of Congress for Obama’s final two years.
The president was quickly dismissed as the lamest of lame ducks. But as Eric Boehlert noted yesterday, quite a bit has happened over the last month.
For a “lame duck” politician who’s supposed to be licking his wounds after the Democratic Party’s steep midterm losses, President Obama these days probably doesn’t mind scanning the headlines each morning. Instead of confirming the slow motion demise so many in the pundit class had mapped out for him, the headlines paint a picture of a president, and a country, in many ways on the rebound.
Boehlert published this yesterday, before the great new job numbers released this morning.
And in context, it’s just one important data point among many. Over the last month, gas prices have plummeted. And Obama announced a breakthrough climate deal with China. And the number of Ebola cases in the United States dropped to zero.
The White House gave new hope to 5 million immigrants, and there wasn’t much Republicans could do about it.
The Affordable Care Act has arguably had its best month ever. The stock market soared. The Republican-led House Intelligence Committee definitely discredited the Benghazi conspiracy theories.
A successful secret mission freed American prisoners in North Korea. The president announced two very high-profile cabinet nominees, and both were well received. The population of the detention facility at Guantanamo continued to shrink.
Obviously, there have been incredibly painful, difficult challenges in this country over the last month. That said, as far as the president is concerned, Obama appears to have thrown out the script that’s supposed to be applied to lame-duck presidents.
Our pals at “All In with Chris Hayes” had a good segment on this the other day: