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Obama agenda: Staying the course

“Though more Americans see the economy in bad shape than did at the beginning of the summer, their views of whether to re-elect President Barack Obama have barely changed - and a majority blame George Bush for the problems, a new [AP/GFK] poll says,” Politico writes.

“Despite the perception of a weakening recovery, there has been no significant change in the number of people who say he deserves re-election: 47 percent as opposed to 48 percent two months ago. That's a statistical dead heat with those who favor a change in the White House,” AP writes. “And more Americans still blame former President George W. Bush rather than Obama for the economic distress. Some 31 percent put the bulk of the blame on Obama, while 51 percent point to his Republican predecessor. … Obama also fares better than Congress in the blame department. Some 44 percent put "a lot" or "most" of the blame on Republicans while 36 percent point to congressional Democrats.”

More: “More than 6 in 10 — 63 percent — disapprove of Obama's handling of the economy. Nearly half, or 48 percent, "strongly" disapproved. Approval of his economic performance now stands at just 36 percent, his worst approval rating on the issue in AP-GfK polling.”

“When President Obama took his first trip to Martha’s Vineyard after taking office, the excitement among locals here was palpable, from the signs of support strung across shop windows and front porches to a full-page newspaper ad taken out by 125 Vineyard grandmothers in support of his health care plan,” the Boston Globe reports. “This week, with the jobless rate stuck above 9 percent and the president’s nationwide approval rating at its lowest level, the Vineyard’s broad allegiance shows cracks, leaving some islanders with a more textured, even tormented feeling about the president.”

“Following days of intense criticism from conservatives, Vice President Joe Biden is backing down from what was interpreted as a strange, if unintended, defense of China's one-child policy,” the New York Daily News reports. “The White House issued a clarification late Tuesday, insisting Biden believes such practices are ‘repugnant.’ Biden spokeswoman Kendra Barkoff told AFP in a statement that, ‘The Obama administration strongly opposes all aspects of China's coercive birth-limitation policies, including forced abortion and sterilization,’ adding Biden ‘pointed out, in China, that the policy is, as a practical matter, unsustainable. He was arguing against the one-child policy to a Chinese audience.’”