Obama's Winning First Year--And Palin As Worst Veep

Over at Slate, my friend Jacob Weisberg makes a compelling argument that Obama is having the most successful first year of any president since FDR. He notes that a lot of that argument depends on the passage of health care reform, which, I think, remains a pretty good bet. I'd only add that Reagan was a pretty close second. He passed major tax changes that revolutionized/defunded the government for a generation. He didn't take on spending cuts in as big a way as his critics and cheerleaders would argue, but he significantly increased military spending and his changes in American foreign policy were at least as big as the ones that Weisberg sees as Obama-sized.

I argued last week that Sarah Palin was not the worst veep pick since World War II. I think those honors go to Spiro Agnew, Henry Wallace, John Edwards and Richard Nixon. This is leaving aside third party favorites like Curtis LeMay who ran with George Wallace, and it also leaves out the overly maligned, like Dan Quayle and Joe Lieberman and the titanic Lyndon Johnson. Best veep picks of the post World War II era? I'd throw in Al Gore, George H.W. Bush, Estes Kefauver, Hubert Humphrey. But willing to accept all suggestions for best and worst...

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Matthew Cooper is a managing editor (White House) for National Journal.

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