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The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

Today’s Jobs Report Will Have a Big Political Impact



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This . . . is an awful jobs report.

A few things to keep in mind as you peruse all the bad news below the headline that unemployment went up to 9.2 percent.

First, I wonder if Obama adviser David Plouffe still believes what he said yesterday.

“The average American does not view the economy through the prism of GDP or unemployment rates or even monthly jobs numbers,” Plouffe said. “People won’t vote based on the unemployment rate, they’re going to vote based on: ‘How do I feel about my own situation? Do I believe the president makes decisions based on me and my family?’”

“Their decision next year will be based upon two things,” Plouffe said. “How do I feel about things right now and then, ultimately, campaigns are always much more about the future and who do I think has got the best idea, the best vision for where to take the country?”

Secondly, I wonder if President Obama still believes that Speaker Boehner’s “Where are the jobs?” query is a “skewed question,” as he stated earlier this week.

Thirdly, I suspect Mitt Romney will get more use out of this ad:

Fourthly, I expect we’ll hear a lot of talk about this quote from February 2009.

Obama set, perhaps inadvertently, a three-year deadline when he declared:

I will be held accountable. I’ve got four years. A year from now, people are going to see that we’re starting to make some progress, but there’s still going to be some pain out there. If I don’t have this done in three years, then this is going to be a one-term proposition.

Three years from that statement would be February 2012. Obama has seven months to demonstrate a significant improvement in the economy he inherited.

I wonder if Rep. Jim Moran (D., Va.) regrets saying in June 2010, “The economy has recovered.”

I wonder if Tim Geithner regrets writing an op-ed entited, “Welcome to the Recovery” in the New York Times on August 2, 2010.

I wonder if Ron Sims, deputy secretary of housing and urban development, regrets writing on the White House blog that “this summer is sure to be a Summer of Economic Recovery” in June 2010.

Finally, I wonder if Debbie Wasserman Schultz regrets saying in June, “I’m going to take ownership right now because we began to turn the economy around.”

UPDATE: Jeff Dobbs writes in, asking if Obama will have the, er, audacity to continue claiming “we’re headed in the right direction.”


Tags: Barack Obama , David Plouffe , John Boehner , Mitt Romney


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