Now, just like a year ago, the public's priorities for Obama and Congress are to shore up the economy, rev up the job creation engine and defend us from terrorists, according to a recent Pew poll.

Nothing else comes close, not even health care or financial regulation.

The bottom line is that beating up on Bank of America ( BAC), Goldman Sachs ( GS) or Citigroup ( C) won't score as many points with the public as hunkering down on some good old-fashioned economic packages.

Job creation is the surest indicator of whether economic improvements are underway, and so far we're not seeing the results.

--Written by Glenn Hall in New York.

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