Obama Can't Distract Voters From the Flagging Economy

The Obama campaign better come up with a better way to respond to disappointing jobs reports.

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Barack Obama speaks in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

Much of the country has been in successive heat waves for the past month, while President Obama and his campaign have experienced a continued pesky cold streak. Not even a victory in the Supreme Court over Obamacare could shake them out of the doldrums.

Why? Because the Obamacare decision was followed by a jobs report a week later containing nothing even close to good news. That jobs report was vital because if it had showed economic improvement, it would have given the Obama campaign something to build momentum on. Instead, it served as a reminder to the American voter that while President Obama may have won in the Supreme Court on healthcare he is losing in the fight for economic recovery.

[See a collection of political cartoons on healthcare.]

Team Obama's response?

First, President Obama asked the American public to not "read too much into" the jobs report. I will let the Labor Department address the ridiculousness of that statement.

Second, the Obama campaign unleashed a furious ad onslaught. The advertising push however, was not focused on any of the president's accomplishments (Obamacare obviously didn't fit the bill due to its unpopularity), but on the business background of former Gov. Mitt Romney.

Whether one believes the attacks are fair or not, and in my humble opinion they are misguided, the bigger issue for team Obama is that they simply do not work.

[See a collection of political cartoons on the 2012 campaign.]

A quick glance at Real Clear Politics's average of polls shows that on the day after the Obamacare decision, President Obama led Governor Romney by 3.8 percent, whereas the lead now is down to an insignificant 2.0 percent—a statistical tie. The numbers in battleground states also generally mirror the national average and stay within the margin of error.

President Obama and his team have, notwithstanding his claims otherwise to Charlie Rose, abandoned any notion of "transcendence" or "hope and change" and in return have received nothing but bad polls.

There are four more jobs reports before the election on November 6. The economic community tends to agree that they will not be much better than the last. However, in order to have a shot at re-election, President Obama would be well served to make sure that his response is much improved.

  • See a collection of political cartoons on the economy.
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