The numbers that jump out at me are inside the poll, and they're the intensity numbers. If you look at the health care spread, 44 percent are approving of the health care plan, 52 percent against, so a spread of 8 percent. If you look at who strongly approves, it's 24 percent, who strongly disapproves, it's 43 percent, a spread of 19 percent. In other words, if you're against this health care plan, you're really against it. And that's ominous.
And the same is true for the numbers on the economy. Those are the people he has to fear.
TAPPER: Donna, how -- how can the president -- how can majorities be disapproving of the president on two key domestic issues?
BRAZILE: Well, to be honest with you, President Obama is not only a serious president, he's also a president who must constantly multitask. In addition to having the focus on the economy, which was on the brink, and most Americans, I still believe, will give him credit if they believe that the changes that he has made will help them make ends meet.
But -- but he's had to inherit two wars. He's had to work with a Congress that often tries to take the lead, in terms of making the policy prescriptions. And, of course, he's worked against a -- a Republican Party that was united against him and against all his policies.
Despite all of that, there's some good stuff in here. I think he should open this up and say to the first lady, "Happy birthday." Not only is his job approval up, but most Americans consider him a strong leader. So there's some good stuff in here.
TAPPER: You know, we -- Oprah Winfrey asked President Obama how he would grade his first term. And this is the response he gave.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WINFREY: What grade would you give yourself for this year?
OBAMA: A good solid B-plus...
WINFREY: So B-plus. What could you have done better?
OBAMA: Well, B-plus because of the things that are undone.
OBAMA: Health care is not yet signed. If I get health care passed, we tip into A-minus.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: All right, B-plus. Donna, you didn't give him that big a grade, huh?
BRAZILE: I gave him a B. He gave himself a B-plus. And I'm liberal. I grade on a curve. But I would like to see health care pass. I agree with him. I would like to see our troops come home from Iraq. I would like to see the plan in Afghanistan work so that our troops can come home.
I would like to see the president take a little bit more of his -- use a little bit more of his political capital to -- to really force Congress to do something about jobs and to spend less time worrying about his approval ratings and worrying about what Republicans think about him.
TAPPER: Katrina, what -- what grade would you give him for his first year?
VANDEN HEUVEL: I -- I did a B. I do think he brought into our politics an energy and an activism that he needs to retrieve. We're talking about intensity, the intensity of that election -- and, yes, you campaign in poverty, you govern in prose, but retrieve the intensity. Why should the Tea-publicans, these Tea Party baggers deform what is real about this country, which is communitarianism, which is about a responsive, strong government?