Early Returns

Productivity, Traps and Terrible Poll Numbers

Jonathan Bernstein's morning links.

1. Julia Azari at FiveThirtyEight with a must-read about the productivity of new presidencies.

2. Seth Masket at Vox on why heath care is such a trap for presidents. As he points out, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama had little choice but to run on reform. Donald Trump is certainly an interesting case. One might argue that the policies on which he stuck fairly close to conservative orthodoxy -- abortion, Obamacare, large regressive tax cuts -- were the most important for the Republican Party in 2016, and that others such as trade or Russia were less so. Is it true? That's a very hard question to answer. 

3. Michele Swers assesses the landscape in Congress as Trump readies to take office.

4. Natalie Jackson on Trump's terrible current polling.

5. Nate Silver on Trump's terrible current polling.

6. Heather Hurlburt on Barack Obama's foreign policy.

7. Ezra Klein has a proposal for a health-care compromise

8. And Josh Marshall has some very useful suggestions for journalists on dealing with Trump. 

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