While the rest of America was watching Anthony Weiner sorta, kinda accept responsibility for the fact that he had lied to himself (among others), the Washington Post's Godfather of Political Reporting, Dan Balz, was poring over the latest Washington Post/ABC News poll which made Weiner's mea culpa seem like good news.
But first, without snickers, nudges and rhetorically throwing each other into the bushes like schoolboys; let's take a brief look at how Weiner's collapse came about.
Weiner was, apparently, driven to hold that presser by ABC News which had gotten hold of text and visual material from a woman in Texas.
In the piece by Chris Cuomo, Chris Vlasto and Devein Dwyer ABC News claimed Weiner called the press conference "as ABC News prepared to release an interview with Meagan Broussard, a 26-year-old single mother from Texas who provided dozens of photos, emails, Facebook messages and cell phone call logs that she says chronicle a sexually-charged electronic relationship with Weiner that rapidly-evolved for more than a month, starting on April 20, 2011."
The story claims ABC News had "reached out to Weiner earlier [in the day] for comment about his possible ties to Broussard."
Before we book flights to Sweden to attend the presentation of the Nobel Prize for Outing a Congressman, note this, which was buried deep in the story at the end of a paragraph. The materials, according to ABC, "were obtained and licensed from her by ABC News."
"Licensed?" Is that the same as bought, purchased, and/or paid for? That's what, when supermarket tabloids do it, is dismissively called "checkbook journalism" by major news outlets, like ABC News.
Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi immediately called for an investigation by the House Ethics Committee. Was she throwing her Liberal ally under the bus?
Nah. Pelosi's craftier than that. By lateraling the ball to the Ethics Committee she let every member of the House Democratic Caucus off the hook because now, when asked by a reporter if Weiner should reply, they can simply reply: "I'll wait for the Ethics Committee to report."
I was asked by a reporter yesterday whether, if I were advising Weiner, I would have urged him to resign.
I said that, assuming we know everything there is to know, I would have recommended he see if he can ride it out. It's a long way between now and November 2012.
I added, though, that I thought his chances of ever being Mayor of New York City - his oft stated political goal - were now very, very dim.
Remember that when this whole thing first came to light Weiner lashed out at everyone from Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas to a CNN reporter to whom he referred as "that jackass."
Who's the jackass now?
Now, back to Dan Balz and the Washington Post/ABC News poll. The headline says it all: Obama Loses bin Laden Bounce.
According to the poll - taken last week - President Obama's overall job approval, which had jumped from 47 percent to 56 percent in the immediate aftermath of bin Laden's death is back where it started: 47 percent.
Forty-nine percent disapprove including - and this has got to have Obama's political staff losing sleep - 53 percent of independents.
The economy, according to the Post, about 60 percent of all those polled were negative on Obama's handling of the economy, but to reinforce the overall job approval among independents, "Nearly two-thirds of political independents disapprove of the president's handling of the economy, including - for the first time - a slim majority who do so strongly."
More bad news for the White House. More people trust the Republicans in Congress to deal with the economy than the President - 45-42. That's a margin-of-error difference, but Balz makes the point that it is "an 11-point improvement for the GOP since March."
Mediscare may not working as well for Democrats as we had been led to believe.
In the match-ups between Obama and potential GOP opponents, he is tied with Mitt Romney among all respondents at 47; but among registered voters in the poll Romney has a slight edge 49-46.
Among other announced or potential GOP candidates:
-- Huntsman trailed Obama by ten; 50-40
-- Gingrich trailed by ten; 52-42
-- Pawlenty trailed by eleven; 51-40
-- Bachmann trailed by 13; 52-39
-- Palin trailed the trailers, losing to Obama by 17; 56-39
It's only Wednesday morning, but it's already been a really bad week for Democrats at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue.
On the Secret Decoder Ring today: A link to the ABCNews.com story about how they got the goods on Weiner, the Washington Post Polling story and to the polling firm's analysis. Also a pretty amusing Mullfoto and a Catchy Caption of the Day.
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