Obama's Bafflingly High Approval Rating

The president's approval rating has reached a post-election 60%, his best rating in three years.

This jump in approval might seem baffling. Typically, president's approval ratings rise when the economy improves. Yet the economy contracted in the fourth quarter of 2012. Is something stirring in January? If so, it's hard to discern. Most economists project growth of 2% in 2013, nothing spectacular. Unemployment is declining, but only with aching slowness.

Americans workers have been hit with higher payroll taxes since the beginning of the year. We've begun the steepest defense build-down since the end of the Korean war, with likely effects through the whole economy.

Why is the president's approval rating defying gravity?