Morning Examiner: The Obama Speech Downgrade 

Obama budget failed to meet expectations: The Wall Street Journal op-ed page is dubbing yesterday’s S&P outlook change on U.S. Treasury Securities “The Obama Speech Downgrade” and a quick look at the S&P statement, as well as the follow up conference call, seems to back them up. Specifically the S&P statement looked at the Ryan plan and Obama’s subsequent campaign speech and continued: “we see the path to agreement as challenging because the gap between the parties remains wide. We believe there is a significant risk that Congressional negotiations could result in no agreement on a medium-term fiscal strategy until after the fall 2012 Congressional and Presidential elections.” Later on a conference call with reporters analyst John Chambers said that while S&P had been encouraged by the Simpson Bowles plan in December, when Obama declined to embrace those recommendations and put out his own plan, it was “below our expectations.”

Debt ceiling impact: The S&P statement did not mention the debt ceiling fight at all but that didn’t stop Democrats and Republicans from using it to make their cases. Democrats claimed the outlook change sh0wed why a clean debt limit vote was needed. Republicans claimed it showed why real spending cuts are needed to prove to creditors that Congress is serious about deficit reduction. But while the Dow was down 1.14 percent yesterday, and gold did surge, U.S. Treasury security prices actually finished higher on the day.

Rising gas prices sinking Obama: The Washington Post has a front page poll today with only bad news for the White House.  A full half of all Americans disapprove of Obama’s job performance while only 47 percent approve,  a seven point drop since January. Worse, 37 percent “strongly disapprove” of Obama, nearly matching his worst result in the WaPo poll history. The source of Obama’s fall is clear: eight in ten Americans say inflation is getting worse and seven in ten say high gas prices are causing financial hardship at home. And the president is doing a even worse among independents.

George W. Obama: McClatchy papers are running a feature today titled: Obama ran against Bush, but now governs like him that includes an infograph that highlights Obama’s Bush like policies on “debt”, “taxes”, “terrorists”, and “war powers.” Also, Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) is telling reporters he might not support Obama in 2012 if he doesn’t do more for another amnesty. We can almost guarantee that both McClatchy and Gutierrez will end up supporting Obama in 2012, but the left’s enthusiasm, and turnout, are almost guaranteed to be down from 2008?s euphoric levels.

2012 round up: The Club for Growth labeled Donald Trump “Just Another Liberal” yesterday, highlighting his support for universal health care, higher taxes, and protectionism … Hot Air‘s Allahpundit looks at Sarah Palin’s redesigned SarahPAC site … Politico‘s Ben Smith notes a Tim Pawlenty flip-flop on the budget deal.

Righty playbook:

  • EconLog‘s Arnold Kling describes the budget battle as “a fight between people with funded retirements and unfunded retirements.”
  • The Heritage Foundation‘s Bill Beach writes an open letter to Paul Krugman calling out his “dishonest, deceptive and factually incorrect critiques of Heritage’s recent analysis of the Ryan budget plan.”
  • Keith Hennessey shows how Obama’s debt speech claims are off by at least $1 trillion.
  • The Daily Caller‘s Mickey Kaus notes that GM stock is now well below the $33 price point necessary for taxpayers to break even on the auto bailout.
  • Multiple conservative blogs have linked to a WSFB Connecticut story reporting that a Chevy Voly burned down a garage in Barkhamstead on Monday.

Lefty playbook:

  • Evan McMorris-Santoro introduces Talking Points Memo readers to their new Texas Senate candidate: former-Abu Gharib commander, Retired Lt. Gen. Ricard Sanchez.
  • Daily Kos‘ Joan McCarter celebrates Rep. Denny Rehberg’s (R-Mont.) vote against the Ryan plan.
  • Firedoglake‘s David Dayen touts a Senate Democrat press release claiming that Democrats have passed $1.5 trillion in tax cuts since 2007.
  • At The Huffington Post, Eaarth author Bill McKibben warns “U.S. Chamber Has No Idea What’s About To Hit Them.”

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