Marcus' optimistic conclusion is that Obama is far from "toast" right now — that the negative opinions Americans have of Congress don't extend quite as far as the White House. I'll be interested to see what she, and the Wal-Mart moms she interviews, think past the November mid-terms and into the last half of Obama's first term.
If I were a member of Congress listening to these women, I would have been horrified by their perception of lawmakers as elitists disconnected from -- indeed, uninterested in -- their concerns. If I were a member of Congress up for reelection I would have been frightened by their hostility.
If I were the president, I would have felt relieved. Not great, but relieved.
Not because these women were going to vote for Obama. Even his 2008 supporters were, for the most part, unwilling to recommit. The word "disappointed" was used with regularity, along with some stronger language, such as "fraud" and "scares me." But these voters' frustration with Obama was tinged with realism about the political and economic constraints he faces.