According to the new Washington Post/ABC poll, "68 percent of poll respondents approve of Obama's job performance… Sixty-four percent said they approve of how Obama is handling appointments to the Cabinet and other top positions in the administration, despite tax problems and stumbles that have led to three of his top nominees withdrawing from consideration."
More: "Although Obama has encountered near-unanimous GOP opposition to his stimulus plan in Congress and widespread criticism for a housing bailout plan that some say rewards people who have been fiscally irresponsible, 64 percent of those polled back the economic recovery package, and the same percentage support the mortgage proposal. The broad support for the recovery package comes as just 10 percent said the bill was too heavy on spending and too light on tax cuts, the primary contention of the Republican leadership in Congress. Overall, 60 percent of poll respondents approve of how Obama is dealing with the economy."
The New York Times on its latest NYT/CBS poll: "The aura of good will surrounding Mr. Obama at this stage of his presidency is similar to the one that benefited Ronald Reagan as he led the nation out of economic gloom. With a job approval rating of 63 percent, Mr. Obama is in a strong position to sell his economic policies. Yet the poll also captured skepticism about how effective his plans will prove to be in addressing the deep recession, as well as a strain of populism that could test his ability to retain public support for efforts to prop up key sectors of the economy."
This is also good news down the road for Obama: "Americans are under no illusions that the country's problems will be resolved quickly, but the poll suggested that they will be patient when it comes to the economy, with most saying it would be years before significant improvement."
The New York Daily News previews Obama's State-of-the-Union-like address to Congress tonight. "'He will talk about how tough things are for some Americans, but he will also say that we can, and will, pull ourselves out of this,' said one official. To put a human face on the impact of the economic meltdown, Obama will be able to point to several hard-hit folks invited to sit in First Lady Michelle Obama's section. The "Hero of the Hudson," US Airways pilot Chesley (Sully) Sullenberger, is also expected to attend."
Politico's Martin: "When President Barack Obama appears in the Capitol on Tuesday night to address a joint session of Congress and millions of Americans watching at home, he'll face a challenge familiar to his predecessors: how to balance inspiration and exhortation with detail and specifics -- a challenge made more difficult by the moment at which he arrives in the House chamber."
Republican pollster David Winston writes in Roll Call, "For President Obama, tonight's address has become more than an economic report card to Congress or even another attempt to sell his economic recovery plan. This address to Congress has become a structural positioning speech. He must decide whether he is going to continue to pursue a single-party approach to governing based on the 'we won' doctrine or embrace a true consensus approach to solving the nation's serious problems. What much of Washington's chattering class has forgotten in all the hype about partisanship over the past month is the fact that the majority party defines the level of bipartisanship, not the other way round."
The Chicago Tribune: "White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel's Washington lodging arrangements, a rent-free basement room in a Capitol Hill home owned by Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn) and her pollster husband, have inspired debate among tax experts and in Republican-leaning portions of the blogosphere. One issue is whether Emanuel, who served in the House with DeLauro until early January, should have listed the room either as a gift or as income on his Congressional financial disclosure forms. Emanuel's disclosure filings contain no mention of his use of the room."