“So the stimulus was a political gamble for the White House. But ask yourself what youâ€™d rather inherit: a booming economy that could go nowhere but down, or a struggling economy that could — and we stress â€œcouldâ€ — go nowhere but up by 2010?”
– MSNBC’s First Read on the stimulus package
Here are their winners and losers of the week…
The obvious winner here, of course, is Obama, who will get the first big victory of his four-week-old presidency. Other winners are Collins/Snowe/Specter (who proved that they will control what passes in the 111th Congress), Harry Reid (who got the 60-plus votes he needed), Joe Lieberman (who helped behind the scenes with Collins), White House aide Phil Schiliro (who played an unsung role on the Hill), the Republican Party (which demonstrated unity after its big losses in November), and No.2 House Republican Eric Cantor (who raised his profile during the debate, although he took a BIG hit yesterday for that profane AFSCME video his office released).
The losers, in our opinion, are Nancy Pelosi (some House priorities lost out in the end) and governors (who didnâ€™t get all the money they wanted and will have to make some tough cuts before a re-election year).
I agree that Pelosi is a loser in all of this. She came off sounding shrill and uncooperative, while Reid played the dealmaker. The Obama White House may be gunning to get her out of that leadership position in the not too distant future, but that’s a very difficult thing to do.
Still, don’t be surprised if it happens.
However, I think the press is WAY too close to the beltway when they say the Republicans are winners.
In poll after poll after poll, Americans disapprove of the way that Repubs aren’t playing nice with Obama. Sure, they might not be overjoyed by the stimulus package, but they don’t see the Republicans offering any realistic alternatives. So the reality is that they’re looking increasingly like the “Party of No” to those outside DC. Whether that’s a fair assessment or not is certainly up for debate, but there it is nonetheless.