Americans want to hear that four letter word…JOBS.
I just came back from vacation. I was lucky enough, due to an airline's inept scheduling and my brother working for a major hotel chain, to go to Italy completely gratis. In Italy, as in most of Europe, things seemed much like here in the United States: people complaining about the cost of items, consumerism down, people losing their homes and many wondering when they would see more jobs and the economy turn around.
Since I left, a new Republican (Gov. Rick Perry of Texas) has thrown his hat into the ring to run for president. (Odd that a man who wanted his state to secede from the union now wants to head it?) And our president is getting ready to address our nation with what has affectionately been dubbed "the jobs speech." [See a collection of political cartoons on the economy.]
Jobs. Although a four letter word, it is a word Americans want to hear. It's on their minds, hearts, souls. It's on the tip of their tongue; in every broadcast they watch or listen to, any paper they read, any blog they add to the thread of. And it's necessary. Economists regardless of their politics say that true economic recovery will begin when the unemployment figures come down from a stagnant 9.1 percent . It's also necessary many say for the president to keep his job and not to be the one term déjà vu Jimmy Carter president that the right wing is hoping for. No incumbent president ever in our nation's history has been re-elected with the unemployment rate over 8 percent. So the president's got his work cut out for him. And luckily for we Democrats, this is a man of firsts.
The president must show those that signed up for Hope and Change that both are still possible. And politically, he must be strong and lead with specifics that he must back regardless of what his party does; regardless of the impending attacks that will surely come from the right. He should look at the criticisms of his opponents who state he lacks leadership, specifics, a plan, etc. We the American people have to hear a clear, specific plan that is believable and more so, doable. Sure fellow Democrats may not sign up, and certainly the GOP will filibuster pretty much anything that will help this president keep his job for a second term; but at the end of the day, the president needs to say to the American people: Here is my plan, outlining the specifics steps, numbers and goals and how he plans to achieve them. He must be like a boxer, ready to duck every punch from the right before it happens. [Read Rick Newman: 7 Ways Obama Can Gain Credibility on Jobs]
Although I believe most of my fellow Americans are pretty bright, but many believe the rhetoric. They'll believe that this man isn't leading, doesn't care, has failed, etc. as the right states unless he shows them otherwise. They'll believe they threw the Democrats out because they didn't create jobs and that the Republicans (and Tea-publicans) they elected will save them; although there hasn't been one jobs bill put forth by the Republicans. And they'll look at the Romney, Bachmann, and Perry, and hear their criticism either that the president doesn't have a plan or once he presents that plan, their comments on how his plan will fail; despite none of them having a specific plan. (Unless you consider seven amendments by proposed by Perry to our constitution, including outlawing abortion and gay marriage, job creators.)
The American people want to hear how the president plans to create jobs; or incentives for businesses to hire here in the United States rather than overseas, tax breaks for small business owners such as the temporary elimination of payroll taxes, etc. For if we feel hopeful, we'll feel richer and if we feel richer, we'll spend more; and that my friend, will start to stimulate this economy.