Ezra Klein clings to his optimism: 

I wouldn't be surprised if Obama has his name on a broader deficit-reduction bill at this time next year. If he takes the deficit away from Republicans before 2012, his reelection campaign becomes considerably easier. And on a less cynical level, his administration is stocked with deficit hawks -- the same folks who actually balanced the budget under Bill Clinton. And similarly, Republicans want to deliver on the deficit-reduction promises they've made to their base. In theory, everyone's incentives and ideologies are pointing in the same direction. That's a good sign for progress.

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