Have you noticed that President Bush’s approval ratings have risen since the election, even though the economy and war in Iraq haven’t changed that much?

Columnist Michael Barone notes that this is because, now that the campaign is over, partisans are reacting more to events than using them to fight Bush. (I’ve noticed this in the way casualties in Iraq are reported–the press is now less interested in casualties now that they can’t try to use them to defeat Bush.)

Here’s a nugget from the piece:

“It looks like Bush is headed toward the bright sunlit upland of public approval that Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan enjoyed in the first two years of their second terms. Most likely, Bush’s approval ratings will not be as high as Clinton’s and Reagan’s, because this electorate remains deeply polarized. But there is an impulse in many Americans to voice approval of a re-elected president and to grant him more benefit of the doubt than during the election period. Particularly during a campaign in which he was so vociferously and witheringly opposed not only by the opposition party, but by the dominant voices of Old Media, led by CBS News and The New York Times.”

Oh, and, by the way, Barone calls for bipartisanship–he’s asking the Dems to be more bipartisan. Now that’s a suggestion we haven’t heard.