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Obama agenda: Signing day

The Boston Globe’s editorial page on the debt deal: “Like all compromises, the debt-ceiling deal negotiated by President Obama and congressional leaders is not a win for either side. Rather, it’s a necessary piece of business that Democrats and Republicans alike should support, even if they wish the negotiations had gone in another direction.”

“There are no real winners in the debt-crisis debacle, and in such moments the leader of the country absorbs a larger hit than most,” the New York Daily News’ DeFrank writes. The tawdry spectacle of governmental paralysis, engineered by take-no-prisoner Tea Party newbies and abetted by Republicans fearful of crossing them, is more reminiscent of a banana republic.”

Obama came away with “less than half a loaf,” DeFrank writes. But he got some positives out of the deal, like not having to go through this again until after the 2012 election. But his leadership is being questioned by Capitol Hill Democrats. "He's just too much the academician and not enough of the politician," a top Democratic strategist said. "The magic of 2008 has escaped him." DeFrank: “That seems overly harsh. By positioning himself between angry Republicans and angry Democratic liberals, Obama may ultimately be in a better strategic place, with 15 months to go until the election.”

President Obama’s approval rating is upside down in Pennsylvania at 43%-52%, according to a Quinnipiac poll out today. He loses in a head-to-head with Mitt Romney 44%-42%; Obama beats Rick Santorum, the former Pennsylvania senator, by just 3 points – 45%-42%; Obama bests Bachmann 47%-39%, and Rick Perry 45%-39%.

The Washington Post looks ahead to 2012. Whoever the Republican presidential nominee turns out to be, it now looks likely that President Obama’s battle for reelection will be fought around big issues. Chief among them: the size and role of government, and the values that will set priorities for a diminished pool of resources in austere times.

“The debt deal negotiated by the White House and congressional leaders is unlikely to drag down the economy but might not prevent a downgrading of the U.S.’s triple-A credit rating, a range of economists and financial analysts said Monday,” The Hill says.