It was a chilly winter for Barack Obama, politically speaking. For six months, he and his party shivered under the avalanche that had buried them in November’s midterm election while Republicans disported themselves on the partisan ski slopes, pausing only to throw snowballs, some of them dirty, and warm themselves with nice hot cups of tea. Lately, though, there’s been a change in the weather.
The barometer began to rise on Wednesday, April 27th, when the Hawaii state health department agreed, per the President’s request, to bend its rules and release his so-called “long form” birth certificate. “We’re not going to be able to solve our problems if we get distracted by sideshows and carnival barkers,” Obama said. “We’ve got better stuff to do. I’ve got better stuff to do.” What stuff? Well, by that Sunday, Osama bin Laden had been killed, in Abbottabad, Pakistan. By last week, Obama’s public-approval rating had reached sixty per cent, the highest since his sixth month in office.