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President Obama Comes Out Strong Following Debt-Ceiling Negotiations

President Obama and Congressional leaders at the White House last month. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Finally — finally — it looks like the government is coming to some sort of resolution to the debt-ceiling standoff. The wrangling continues right to the last minute (the deadline is tomorrow people!), but reporters are already looking at the impact that discussions will have on the reputations of the parties and individual politicians.

“…[E]ven as a compromise was announced on Sunday evening, both parties were prepared to try to define the deal as staying true to their respective principles,” The New York Times writes. “How well each of them does in shaping perceptions of the outcome could have a substantial effect on the 2012 presidential race and the balance of power in Washington as the ideological fight over the size and role of government grinds on.”

Obama could take a hit because he didn’t press harder for revenue generating measures and other items dear to Democrats. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) could be in trouble because of the determination of Tea Party conservatives. And those conservatives managed to get a lot, but left some things on the table. And now that they’ve pressed for so much, people will be on the lookout for the positive impact, or lack thereof.

We would like to say that global economic fortunes and citizens here and abroad will benefit from this fight, but the U.S.’s reputation likely slipped quite a bit around the world after this embarrassment. Still, we’re going to say that President Obama, with the election right around the corner, gets the trump card in this debate.

He looks like the more reasonable of all the different parties involved. He’s taking heat now, with MSNBC repeatedly calling him and the Democrats “diminished,” but he can also say that he pressed hard for what was won (there are a few things that TIME points out) and emphasize that that one of the GOP sticking points was raising taxes on the rich. With jobless rates holding fast and both cuts and continued economic struggles promising to continue the middle and lower class assault, that may be a hard pill for voters to swallow.

Also, despite the jokes, VP Joe Biden could prove to be a strong partner. The Daily Beast today talks up the behind-the-scenes work that Biden did to get a deal through, which may have slipped under the radar over past weeks, but could prove to be a big talking point in the months to come, particularly when you compare it to the push back and division among Republicans.

Finally, President Obama showed that he still has the power to move the masses. White House comms director Dan Pfeiffer said that President Obama’s call for people to contact their Congresspeople to push for a resolution did play a role in pushing through the deal. That kind of rallying has proven to win elections.

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