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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Seventy-six percent of Americans questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey released Wednesday said Obama is a strong and decisive leader.

"That's the best number an incoming president has gotten on that dimension since Ronald Reagan took office in 1981," CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said. "The public's rating of his leadership skills is already as high as George W. Bush's was after 9/11 and easily beats the numbers that both Bush and Bill Clinton got at the start of their first terms in office."

A lot of people are linking to these numbers, but best-in-show goes to TPM's Eric Kleefield, who writes: "A new poll suggests that Barack Obama's high ratings aren't just your average political honeymoon, but could effectively be the same as when the people rally around their leader after a disaster." Only I wouldn't say it's "effectively the same"—that's exactly what it is.

Confidential to the Obama White House: popularity is political capital. Use it, or you lose it. Let's go change the world.