My previous column explored whether Tuesday's Senate loss in Massachusetts hurt the chances for President Obama's health care bill and concluded that, yes, it surely had. A second question is: did the loss damage the President's standing in general and his party's prospects in the November elections? That's harder. Most polls, most years, show that the economy is the number one issue with American voters. At the moment, it's recovering from the recession but not very quickly. Most Americans would probably give the president and his stimulus plan some credit for perking it up, but not much. By November--ten months away--it may look a lot better or, of course, worse. Then, Obama inherited two wars. We seem to be on the way home from one, Iraq. By November we may actually have left. It's much harder to see a happy ending to the other one, Afghanistan. By November, we'll surely still be there, and if there's some clear road to victory, it certainly has eluded me. But the Democrats shouldn't be unrelievedly gloomy about November. On politics, some wise person once said, six weeks is forever. And November is ten months off.
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