On Fox News Sunday, the boss observed that "There is no empirical evidence [the debt ceiling debate is] helping the president, you know? If you look at the different polls, Gallup, Rasmussen, etc cetera. The president's approval rating has drifted down over the last two, three, four weeks...

"So, I think, inside the Beltway everyone thinks, Obama is out maneuvering those Republicans. And the Republicans have made some mistakes, but the truth is, the longer we have this debate about debt and deficit, and the magnitude of President Obama's spending, and the failure of the stimulus, and the failure of his big spending programs. I think it hurts the president and I don't think the public thinks we should shy away from that debate."

At Commentary, Peter Wehner looks at the polls and comes to a similar conclusion:

[O]ver the weekend, according to Gallup, Obama’s approval rating sank to 42 percent approval v. 50 disapprove.

What’s interesting is these sinking polling numbers are occurring in the midst of the debt ceiling debate, which (we’re constantly being told) Obama is not only winning but dominating. What I suspect is happening is that everyone involved in this matter is being hurt, from Republicans on Capitol Hill, to Congress as an institution, to Obama himself. And one individual who is not being stained by this mess is the eventual GOP nominee, whoever that person is.

It is almost accepted as received truth the GOP made a mistake in turning the debt ceiling debate into a fight over principle. Perhaps. But perhaps the president did as well.

Whole thing here.

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