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Obama agenda: A silver lining?

“Liberals were furious as the terms of the agreement came into focus Sunday, and yet another capitulation by Obama on economic policy threatened to further dampen enthusiasm among the core Democratic voters he will need to win reelection next year,” the Washington Post writes. “But for a White House eager to improve its standing with centrist independents who have been fleeing Obama, even a losing deal can be a winning strategy.”

More: “Most important for the president, the agreement struck Sunday averted a government default — an outcome that probably would have hurt the U.S. economy and added to voters’ frustrations with Obama’s leadership.”

The New York Times’ Zeleny makes this point: “The outcome, perhaps, was better for Mr. Obama as a presidential candidate than as a president. His ability to face down House Republicans over the next 18 months is in question, but when he faces voters next year, his advisers believe that the debt ceiling fight will have created a clear contrast between his priorities and that of a Republican Party that he and his allies will no doubt portray as extreme.”

USA Today says everyone looks bad. “In the debate over raising the government's debt ceiling, President Obama has seen his approval rating fall to a new low, his political adeptness questioned and his liberal base enraged over compromises he made on line-in-the-sand issues such as protecting Medicare from cuts. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, has been weakened, too. He not only was forced to retreat from a legacy-making grand bargain, but he also had to pull his own plan from the House floor for revisions demanded by conservative Tea Party members. Washington itself has looked to many American voters and international investors like a bickering, dysfunctional family, unable to address the nation's considerable and looming problems in a timely way.

“Responding to criticism from liberal Democrats, White House officials said Sunday night that the deal President Obama helped broker provides a path to end the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy while protecting domestic programs,” The Hill writes.

A round up of today’s front pages:

The New York Times (with a sullen-looking photo of Obama): “Leaders agree on outlines of deal to end debt crisis.”
The Washington Post (with a smiling Minority Leader Mitch McConnell): “Leaders strike debt deal.”
The Wall Street Journal (with shots of Boehner, Reid and McConnell): “Leaders agree on debt deal.”
The Philadelphia Inquirer (also with the McConnell photo): “Accord is reached on federal budget.”
The Boston Globe: “Leaders reach 11th-hour debt deal; passage in Congress still uncertain.”
The New York Post: “House call: Deal at last – now up to reps.”
The New York Daily News: “Done deal: Obama reaches accord with Congress bigs on debt ceiling.”
The Cleveland Plain Dealer: “Obama, McConnell, Reid OK debt deal’s framework.”
The Orlando Sun-Sentinel: “Congress, Obama reach debt deal.”
The Miami Herald: “And it’s a deal.”
The Denver Post: “Hard-fought deal emerges.”
The Charlotte Observer (with a smiling Mitch McConnell on the cover): “A debt deal at last, but Congress must approve.”