Not A Populist Backlash Against Obama (Yet)

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Curious storyline in the national press: that the resurgence of populist sentiment is directed at Barack Obama's government and could complicate his political agenda. I don't think the evidence gets us there just yet. For one thing, my colleague Mark Blumenthal reminds us that displeasure with the banks and financial institutions is already fairly well determined, the public is already dissatisfied with how government is overseeing the bailout, and that the public channels that anger into increased support for tougher financial regulation and more oversight of the industry -- which just happens to be a big part of Obama's agenda. Pundits are leaning forward, assuming that the public's rage is unusually sulfurous, and that it will seep through the cracks at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, bottling up Obama's ability to pass his budget. Maybe this will happen. But we can't make this snap judgment a mere 48 hours after the disclosure.

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Marc Ambinder is an Atlantic contributing editor. He is also a senior contributor at Defense One, a contributing editor at GQ, and a regular contributor at The Week.

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