Friday, September 7, 2012

Back to reality - weak economy and unmotivated supporters.

Moments after President Obama spoke at his convention, reality was taking hold.  The latest jobless and economic report brought bad news.

One headline read: "Grim jobs market confronts Obama, Fed".  The economy is weak and a big problem for an incumbent president.
Jobs growth slowed sharply in August, setting the stage for the Federal Reserve to pump additional money into the sluggish economy next week and dealing a blow to President Barack Obama as he seeks re-election.

Nonfarm payrolls increased only 96,000 last month, the Labor Department said on Friday.

While the unemployment rate dropped to 8.1 percent from 8.3 percent in July, that was because so many Americans gave up the hunt for work. The survey of households from which the jobless rate is derived actually showed a drop in employment.

In addition, President Obama's supporters are not energized.  Time columnist Joe Klein wasn't impressed.
The President gave a fine speech Thursday night. His vision of the country is much closer to the place where I live–and I daresay where most Americans live–than Mitt Romney’s. It is an America that includes truck drivers and teachers and auto workers as well as Romney’s beloved entrepreneurs. Obama laid out the case against Romney’s constricted vision in a very effective way: “If you have a cold, they say take two tax cuts and roll back some regulations and see us in the morning.” He was, of course, defter, funnier, more profound than Romney. He told basic truths like “global warming is not a hoax.” He made no absurd promises. He recognized the difficulty of our situation. He acknowledged mistakes. But he did not close the deal. The speech disappointed me, and I’m not quite sure why.
But I still wonder: what is he going to do with his second term? What are the next things we need to do as a nation? Why did he limit his defense of the Affordable Care Act to a sentence or two about a girl with a pre-existing condition in Phoenix? Why didn’t he say more about the revival in manufacturing that seems just to be beginning? Why didn’t he get more specific, and dreamy, about the whiz-bang new energy products that are being developed by basic research government agencies like ARPA-E? He talked about goals–why did none of them seem big? Why can’t I remember any of them? Why didn’t he talk about the world’s largest solar farm, underway in Nevada? Why didn’t he envision an America–happening right now, by the way–where people can put solar tiles on their roofs, take care of their own electrical needs and sell the surplus to their local utilities? Or something else. Whatever. Something to hang onto and aim for....
But I’m continually disappointed by Obama’s inability to make the domestic policy decisions he’s made come alive to the American people, to show us what sort of country we’re going to be living in when we emerge from this mess, to show how–necessarily–we are going to be different when we come out the other side.
When the economy is bad and your supporters aren't energized that's not a good sign.

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