OBAMA SEES ‘A LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL’…. It seems like just about every Friday afternoon, President Obama has been delivering a brief speech to reporters, and today was no different. The president didn’t necessarily break any new ground, but he talked a bit about the new unemployment numbers, noting that “the worst may be behind us.”

He also offered a strong defense of his stimulus efforts, noting that February’s recovery package — including the tax cuts and extension of unemployment benefits — helped American families weather “the worst phase of the recession.”

Obama concluded, “I’m convinced that we can see a light at the end of the tunnel, but now we’re going to have to move forward with confidence and conviction to reach the promise of a new day.”

The president’s remarks today help cap what’s been a pretty good week for the White House. Isaac Chotiner noted this morning that “in the face of declining poll numbers and stalled health care negotiations,” the president has seen some encouraging developments this week. Today’s improved unemployment numbers are part of it, as are the death of Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud, the confirmation of Sonia Sotomayor, the renewal of the “cash for clunkers” program, the release of two American journalists from North Korea.

The polls are looking a little better, public confidence is looking a little stronger, and his most rabid critics have spent the week embarrassing themselves with thuggish tactics.

Not a bad week.

Our ideas can save democracy... But we need your help! Donate Now!

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.