I'm afraid Barone and most Americans have gravely underestimated Barack Obama. Right now he is in a "No Lose" situation as he sees it. Just as FDR was back in the early 30s. If we go over the cliff and hit another recession more people will become dependent on Government Handouts which Obama will gladly give them. If this happens he becomes the hero for several million more voters. If Republicans cave in he claims victory and appears to be the hero for saving the country. Then he will move to nationalize the energy industry and take advantage of the coming oil and natural gas boom. If he does this you can look for a Third Obama Term through declaring Martial Law under his Executive Order of last March.