Originally Posted by jimmac
You know I saw something interesting this morning on " Meet The Press ".
They had a round table discussion about current topics including Obama and the economy. One of the observations that seemed supported by everyone there ( except for the GOP stratigist ) was that if the economy continues to be bad right up to the next election then he ( and the democrats ) will suffer ( hung out to dry ) because of it. However if it improves even a little the GOP will be hung out to dry for their early criticism of Obama.
Most people would note that the reason it was supported by everyone except the GOP strategist was because the GOP strategist was the only person there from the right of the political spectrum.
Plus, insights analysis on all the week's news from our political roundtable: Republican Strategist and former adviser to Pres. George W. Bush, KAREN HUGHES; Democratic Strategist, BOB SHRUM; NBC News' Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent, ANDREA MITCHELL; and Politico's Chief Political Columnist, ROGER SIMON.
However given that, I don't think anyone is contesting the general outline of what you say. The real matter will be on whether spin can alter the perception of the word "improve."
This is something I've said all along. The GOP and their attacks almost from day one can reflect on them negatively later if they're not right. Almost like they were wishing things to go bad for the sake of their party. Instead of hoping we recover for the sake of all of us.
The rebuttal by the GOP stratigist was " Well this stimulus plan was sold as an immediate fix ".
Andrea Mitchlle countered with " No it wasn't. The failing of jobs has drop to half of what it was in January. They averted disaster. That was the immediate fix ".
Now I happened to have been here when Bush was in office and when you were here as well. I know that even when the economy had improved but job creation was weak, you wouldn't call that a recovery. Job creation was part of your definition then and I suspect even though the names and faces have changed that it is still part of most people's definitions now. Based on the spin from above now, a recovery now means merely slow the rate of job destruction. The number of job losses last month increased from the prior month and while lower than the almost 800k from January, were still almost half a million jobs gone.
I noted how 6% seemed to be the incumbent trigger. Reagan managed to avoid it but had lowered the unemployment rate by 3% within his first term. Obama doesn't have to do better than that but will not be above that. If unemployment hits 10% as even he has noted will happen, and manages to get back down to 7%, he will be reelected and it will likely be an easy reelection. Sure this would mean that no jobs had really been created in his first term, but I think people would still see the recovery and reelect him. However any less than that and it will be a serious fight. If unemployment is still anywhere around the current rate, he will be dust.
The stimulus was not sold as an immediate recovery, but it was sold as a jobs program that would limit unemployment to 8%. It was sold as something that according to CBO would actually steal from future growth but would limit the pain for now.
It hasn't limited the pain and still will steal from future growth. So now the point is that the hole to dig out of is even deeper and the tools to address it will be even more limited as it appears there is no support for a second stimulus.
Finally, I believe a very large problem for Obama is that he is tackling issues that are not the economy and thus it makes it easier to claim he has not addressed the problem. When you are unemployed and someone is constantly trying to fix it, even if it isn't fixed, you are more inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt. (Especially true of Obama who many people like) However when you dealt with it in the first month of office and now seem fixated on traveling abroad, passing cap and trade and health care legislation, it is easier to paint a picture of someone who is not handling their business. They can claim the issues are tied together but that will presume unemployed people will care enough to reason that they should be unemployed longer while Obama handles his big lift.
Reasonable people who aren't just looking at their party's fortunes realize that any solution will take time. Some comparisons were made to Reagan in the early 80's who's approval ratings were right where Obama's are now. Once things turned around ( Morning in america etc. ) they went back up to become one of the most successful administrations ever. The Republicans are saying from the get go the stimulus package is a failure. If they're wrong they'll be seen as the party of " No ".
Reasonable people will forgive lack of growth as recovery. Starting and ending at 7 percent may be forgiven, even though for most people 6% would get them tossed. But people are not going to forgive the unemployment rate still being 9-10% claiming the losses have been stemmed or slowed.
So their you have it. If things are still bad in a year Obama will certainly suffer. If things improve ( even a little ) the Republicans will have egg on their collective faces ( again ) for their heavy handed tactics.
I'm sure most GOP supporters will disagree with this but I think it's an accurate assessment.
I think when digging past the platitudes, all will be in agreement on the numbers.