Time magazine's Michael Duffy said this weekend that the liberal part of Barack Obama's presidency is probably over.
Maybe more surprising, no one on the syndicated "Chris Matthews Show" - including the host - disagreed with him (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: Michael, I haven't seen him like this, eyes wide open addressing his critics head on.
MICHAEL DUFFY, TIME: Pointing the finger…
DUFFY: …in case you missed the point. There’s no question that the sort of liberal part of the Obama presidency is probably over. He is moving into a totally different phase here, but he’s doing it because he has to. Unemployment numbers were rising again. His popularity was beginning to dip into the low forties. So he cuts this dramatic deal with Republicans on a tax cut, he gets a much bigger second stimulus, bigger than the first stimulus that he did with the Democrats.
MATTHEWS: Does everybody know this?
DUFFY: And he gets it at a time, he gets it at a time that is perfect if you're running for re-election which he is. And so, these liberals may scream, but they’ve been screaming about Barack Obama since the beginning. This isn’t anything new. They, no one thought he was Ted Kennedy incarnate. You know, they’ve been upset about "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and gay marriage and all kinds of national security stuff. But he is refocusing his national presidency on the economy, and he’s reminding independents who voted for him in the first place but have kind of lost their, you know, love for him why they did.
Indeed, but there's a larger question that I haven't heard anyone ask since this compromise plan was revealed: what if it doesn't work?
Chris Stirewalt said on "Fox News Sunday" this morning that this package likely would have been similar to what McCain would have initially proposed in January 2009 if he had won the election.
Despite what some on the right are saying about this not being stimulative, there are elements to the plan that indeed are.
Assuming it makes its way through Congress, and the economy doesn't respond as many on Wall Street believe it will, what's next?
We would have then thrown at least $2.5 trillion - likely far greater if we factor in monetary stimuli - at this economy since the September 2008 financial meltdown with very disappointing results.
If that ends up being the case, what's our next step to bring down unemployment, and what will it cost?