Whatever the political consequences of President Obama's meeting with House Republicans today, the encounter will go down as "easily the most entertaining program C-SPAN (or any cable news network, really) has aired in a long time," writes Mike Madden for Salon. The verbal jousting was "a spectacle, the kind of thing that hasn't been seen in American politics in years." Obama smoothly turned what could've been a triumph for Republicans into a debunking of talking points and empty rhetoric.
Discussing the stimulus, Obama attacked the oft-repeated Republican complaint that "You could do this cheaper and get increased results," saying that would be "great" but he "couldn't find credible economists who would back up that claim." Given the tepid reactions to the president's first-year performance, Madden writes, it's no wonder "Democratic operatives around Washington watching it had pretty much the same reaction: 'Where the hell has this guy been?'"