It’s good to be a Republican in the era of Obama.

So, just how did this happen? When Obama was elected everyone thought the conservative movement was dead. Then came the Tea Party explosion and the midterm “shellacking.”

For the early part of the 2000s, Americans had a net-positive image of the Republican Party. That changed in 2005, as Americans soured on the Bush administration over the ongoing Iraq war, the federal government’s response to Hurricane Katrina, and rising gas prices, among other issues. After the 2006 midterm elections, which saw Americans remove the Republicans as the majority party in Congress, the Republicans’ ratings were 35% favorable and 58% unfavorable.

The Republican Party’s image remained negative over the next two years as the economy worsened, except for a 47%-47% reading after the party’s well-received national convention in 2008, which ended days before the financial crisis intensified. Just after Americans elected Barack Obama to replace Bush later that year, the Republicans’ net-favorable score was -27 (34% favorable, 61% unfavorable) — the worst Gallup has measured in this trend dating to 1992.

Americans’ opinions of the Republican Party improved in late 2009 and early 2010 before falling back in a May 2010 poll, but have steadily improved since then.

But while the Democratic brand is in the crapper, Pres. Obama is on the upswing. Democrats have lost their majority, the midterms and are now sucking fumes of the conservatives.

It’s just one reason why his reelection is getting stronger by the minute. There’s no reason to vote Republican when you’ve got a distant Democratic cousin playing one from the White House.

One reason Mike Pence might have backed off a presidential run is that right now no matter how the Democratic Party looks, the President is looking quite formidable.

So they rolled out some White House staff changes. Ezra Klein has Bill Daley’s email on the announcements.

Another announcement is Jay Carney, the man who took such good care of Vice President Biden, is getting Robert Gibbs’ job. Take a trip in the way back machine with Rick Perlstein for more on Carney, who couldn’t keep his facts straight on former Pres. Bill Clinton. It’s hilarious. Here’s just a portion:

“Reality Bytes: Bloggers upstage the mainstream press yet again,” Feb. 7, 2007, By Rick Perlstein

Chalk up 7:22 a.m. EST on Tuesday, January 23, 2007, as the moment a milestone was passed. On Time’s new blog, “Swampland,” D.C. Bureau Chief Jay Carney posted a pre-assessment to the State of the Union Address comparing President Bush’s political position to Bill Clinton in January of 1995. Like Bush, “President Clinton was in free fall. “¦ His approval ratings were mired in the 30’s and seemed unlikely to rise.”

Moments later, a writer identfiying himself as “Tom T” pointed out an
error in Carney’s “nut graf” that would have earned a failing grade
for a first-year journalism major: “Clinton’s approval rating in January of 2005 was 47 percent. It was not mired in the 30s.” At 9:12, the blogger Atrios, also known as Duncan Black, alerted his readers to the gaffe, and they descended on the Time blog like locusts–and, to mix the Biblical metaphor, served Jay Carney’s head up on a charger. They tabulated several more boneheaded errors: Carney wrote that 1995 was Clinton’s first State of the Union “with Newt Gingrich and Bob Dole seated behind him as Speaker and Senate Majority Leader”; but, of course, it is the Vice President, not the Senate Majority leader, who sits behind the president. He also wrote of Clinton’s “recovery “¦ during Monica, in 1999”–but, as a commenter reminded him, “Clinton never had to ‘recover’ from Monica, unless polls in the high 50s and 60s are something you have to recover from.”

Then the commenters unraveled the entire foundation of Carney’s argument. ….