A common refrain in Washington is that President Obama's sinking popularity is setting up his fellow Democrats for a drubbing in November midterm elections. But author Michael Hirsh says in Newseek that, after a relentless barrage of bad press, Obama may have sunk so low that the slightest hint of improvement -- on the economy, on health care, on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan -- could save Democrats from catastrophe:
"At this juncture in his presidency, Barack Obama might think about taking his political cue from the title of Richard Fariña's 1960s novel: Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up to Me. In the race to the bottom that American politics has become -- the only question is which party will be less popular going into the November election -- Obama's been written off so completely that the Democrats' electoral prospects may be starting to look up simply because they can't drop much lower.
"True, with the congressional elections still eight months away, it's impossible to say whether this is some kind of a bottom or a turning point. Many unknowns could still turn November into the rout against the Democrats that everyone now expects: soaring gas prices, double-dip recession, a terrorist setback. But consider: after months of failures and embarrassing White House miscalculations, some very serious downward trend lines are starting to stabilize or even poke upward."