The Campaign Spot

Hey, Maybe the President Should Talk About the Economy.

The White House seems really convinced that if they say “moving in the right direction” enough times when discussing the economy, the voters will give them some sort of credit, or at least not notice that the economy has mostly sputtered over the last two years, and really for the last three:

  • 2nd Q 2010: +1.6 percent

  • 1st Q 2010: +3.7 percent

  • 4th Q 2009: +5.0 percent

  • 3rd Q 2009: +1.6 percent

  • 2nd Q 2009: -0.7 percent

  • 1st Q 2009: -4.9 percent

  • 4th Q 2008: -6.8 percent

  • 3rd Q 2008: -4.0 percent

  • 2nd Q 2008: +0.6 percent

  • 1st Q 2008: -0.7 percent

Usually, when an economy emerges from a recession, it takes off, making up for lost time. For example, the growth rate exceeded 7 percent for five consecutive quarters in the early 1980s.

I would argue that there are few things more dangerous in politics than telling the voters that they’re doing okay when they think that they aren’t. Perhaps the White House is starting to grasp this:

“We know he needs to be out there to talk about the economy next week,” a White House official told ABC News. “We haven’t yet figured out the way he’s going to do that.”

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