It’s hard to overstate liberals’ sense of relief that Obama is finally negotiating like someone who’s encountered a deck of cards once or twice in his life. It wasn’t just the hard-ass opening bid he made last week—$1.6 trillion in revenue, higher tax rates for the top two percent, $50 billion in infrastructure, extended unemployment insurance, money for mortgage modifications… all in exchange for about $600 billion in spending cuts.
The Republican candidate really did think he was on track to become president. These poll numbers explain why.
Day-in and day-out between mid-September and early October, Mitt Romney swore that voters had gotten the wrong idea from his 47 percent riff. He insisted his campaign was devoted to the “100 percent of America” for whom “life has become harder.” He ran ads about how he was a truly compassionate person who just had a different way of measuring compassion than Barack Obama.