Stimulus politics

As for Monday's night's press conference, perhaps the one thing missing from President Obama's impressive -- if a bit wonky -- performance was that he seemed to spend more time defending himself against GOP critics, rather than explaining how his plan will help the nervous families.

He seemed mired in the Washington debate that he was trying to stay above. Then again, how many times did we hear him say the plan would create four million jobs? A lot. And how many times did he cite the economic troubles plaguing Elkhart, Ind.? A ton.

Of course, he learned Monday in Indiana that it's a lot easier to sell a slice of his plan to a slice of Americans than sell this entire thing to the entire public.

As for the GOP response to the press conference, there was a consistent theme: The stimulus plan isn't Obama's (who is popular); instead, it's House Leader Nancy Pelosi's and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's (who are unpopular).

"The legislation moving its way through Congress bears little resemblance to what President Obama described at [the] press conference," said RNC chair Michael Steele in a statement. "The spending bill written by Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid is filled with unnecessary and wasteful programs."

But after watching this week's town hall and news conference, how many Americans don't think that Obama owns this stimulus?

It's his stimulus, and that presents him potential rewards and also risks.