Jeff Weintraub and Jonathan Chait Ask: "Could Zombie Gingrich Win the Republican Nomination?" Answer: Yes
Ezra Klein: "Shrinking the President Down to Size": Obama 2010-2011: C-

Ezra Klein: "Shrinking the Presidency Back Down to Size": Obama 2009-10: B+


Shrinking the presidency back down to size: The president is not as powerful as we think. If you believe that the state of the economy drives the electorate’s evaluations of our political leaders — and you should believe that — then you have to grapple with the fact that the president… needs either Congress or the Federal Reserve to join him in making economic policy…. I think, from 2009 to 2010, the Obama administration operated on the frontier of the policy possible. They did about as much, and perhaps a bit more, than they could reasonably have been expected to do. The stimulus, health-care reform, financial regulation, the end of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” the passage of the START treaty, the expansion of the Children’s Health Insurance Program, the imposition of new regulations on tobacco, the stress tests, the SERVE America Act… that’s quite a lot…. That’s not to say there weren’t mistakes…. Their housing policies were insufficient, and they were absurdly slow with nominations. But I would grade their first two years fairly highly…

I think a B+ is too high a grade--largely because one big task of 2009 was to set up the situation so that you could still make policy in 2010 and 2011 if it turned out that you needed to.