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Barack Obama's Generic Democratic Presidency: Jonathan Bernstein

The Quinnipiac poll getting buzz today may be worthless, but the general topic of evaluating Barack Obama is another opportunity to make an important point: almost everything about Obama's presidency can be explained by saying he’s a Democratic president. He’s an interesting man, but as president he’s become about as generic as possible.

The positions Obama has taken, and his priorities, don't differ in any significant way from the kinds of decisions mainstream liberals might have come to. The most notable differences -- he’s relatively less dedicated to civil liberties and somewhat more hawkish than congressional Democrats -- are almost certainly a function not of Obama’s underlying beliefs, but of his position as president. They’re classic cases of where you sit determining what you do.