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Does anybody really believe the president when he talks about how many jobs will be saved or created by the passage of a particular bill? Does anyone really know whether the Congressional Budget Offices projections about savings (or the lack of savings) from a House Democratic health care bill are on the money? Would any sensible person really believe projections coming out of the Center for American Progress on the left or the Heritage Foundation on the right?
Often I dont know what to believe, so I dont believe any of them. And Im willing to bet that a lot of Americans feel the same way.
Its certainly not that voters have any greater faith in the Republicans these days. Polling doesnt show dramatically increased confidence in the GOP or in Republican leaders.
Its simply that all of the activity of the first six months of the Obama administration has created enough skepticism and doubt around the country and on Capitol Hill to make things much harder for the president and Congressional leaders than things were in February or March.
Democrats continue to have a couple of considerable advantages. While the presidents job approval numbers have slipped, they remain good. And he is still a strong communicator. Voters still have greater confidence in the Democratic Party than in the GOP on most of the key issues of the day though no longer on the deficit and taxes.
A month away from Washington, D.C., even to try to sell the Democratic health care agenda, could well re-energize Pelosi and Hoyer. And given the intensity of the legislative sprint that started at Obamas inauguration, both parties as well as the American public could use a breather.
Stuart Rothenberg is editor of the Rothenberg Political Report.