Obama Trains Spotlight on Flailing Economy

Expect to hear all economy, all the time from the president until Election Day.

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The GOP certainly understands the potential political fallout from a sagging economy. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he thinks Obama is in "a very weak position" for re-election and proposed a new slogan for GOP politicians. He said that "if the presidential election were held today, I think our theme would be: He made it worse." Indeed, the 2012 Republican hopefuls, from former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman to Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, have been piling on in recent weeks, claiming that consistently high unemployment and abysmal housing numbers are evidence that the president's economic policies have failed.

[See 6 Ways to Fix the Housing Market.]

Battling it out with those Republicans will involve months more of constant economic talking points. But for some voters, there are fundamental divides that Obama simply cannot bridge without a significant shift in philosophy. Chris Chocola, President of the Club for Growth, an organization that advocates for conservative economic policies, is blunt in his criticism: "This administration has no understanding of what creates jobs, wealth, and economic growth." Likewise, there are those stalwart supporters who agree with Fenn when he calls Obama "the ultimate capitalist" for his job creation efforts with the stimulus and administration of the auto bailouts. In the end, though, it will be the creation of jobs on a large scale--something any president has little control over--that is likely to resonate with voters.

  • Read 5 reasons to be optimistic about the U.S. economy
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  • Read how TARP worked--and why it failed.