Rush Limbaugh has taken full advantage of his prominence in the media these days and has challenged Obama to a debate—forcing me, for the fourth day straight, to lead with this circus. Here in the office, we’ve debated vigorously whether the White House’s supposedly carefully crafted “Rush Job” is an effective strategy, or just more game-playing in a time of crisis that demands leadership. But at the very least it’s kept Republicans, many of whom are trying to keep their distance, on their toes.Michael Steele, who some suggest should be worried about his job, is plugging ahead. The RNC plans to donate $1 million each to the NRSC and NRCC.Obama’s chances for re-election largely hinge on his ability to guide out us out of this economic crisis. So how long does he have before Americans start holding him responsible? Nate Silver takes a look at the numbers and concludes that if economists are right, Obama should be okay. But Republicans are becoming more willing to criticize the popular president, so perhaps unrest will increase faster than projected.After reading senior editor Shane D’Aprile’s preview of 2009’s key races in the March issue, you’re surely eager for an update. In Virginia, the Democratic primary remains tight, with 46 percent still undecided. And as this cycle’s early proving ground for both parties, NY-20 keeps receiving the outside money: Our Country Deserves Better PAC is releasing TV and radio ads today attacking Democrat Scott Murphy.Meanwhile, with the general still weeks away, the IL-05 is all but over now that the primaries are over. So meet Illinois’s all-but-assured newest congressman.