Zogby Report Card: Obama benefits from Chris Christie's woes

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White House,Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets,Barack Obama,Chris Christie,Obama Report Card,John Zogby

Pollster John Zogby reports in our White House report card that President Obama got off light in the new book from his former Pentagon chief and that “Bridgegate” diverted attention away from the White House.

"The president had a better week than New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Even with the aggressive rollout of former Defense Secretary Robert Gates' new tell-all book, I think Obama was pretty much unscathed. He didn't believe in the Afghanistan surge? I happen to have been wide awake during that debate and it was widely reported then that the president was churlish about the success of a surge, agonized over the debate, and finally compromised with a more limited surge.

“Besides he is a Democrat, had already promised to draw down our decade-plus-long military engagement, and public opinion was hostile to any military expansion. Sorry, but Gates the bipartisan patriot comes off small here.

“Unemployment claims are down further than expected, the unemployment rate plummets to 6.7 percent, and now at least seven million Americans (according to one independent count) are newly enrolled in either exchanges or Medicaid. That figure excludes those who lost their previous policies and had to re-enroll. But Gov. Christie stole the show."

Grade -- C+

Zogby is the senior analyst for Zogby Analytics and author (with Joan Snyder Kuhl) of "The First Globals: Understanding, Managing, and Unleashing our Millennial Generation."

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at pbedard@washingtonexaminer.com.