News from the Votemaster
Another poor jobs report was released yesterday by the Labor Department. In June, only 80,000 new jobs were added to the economy and the unemployment rate stayed steady at 8.2%. Clearly this is bad news for the Democrats and good news for the Republicans. It is an unfortunate characteristic of modern American politics that the party out of power roots (but very quietly) for bad economic news and lots of unemployment. That was certainly true during the Bush administration and is true now. If nothing else, this report will make Mitt Romney focus ever more than ever on the economy.
Slow as the jobs growth is, if you pull back and look at the larger picture, you get a different view. The graph below shows the monthly change in employment since Dec. 2007. This graph gives an entirely different impression. In the final year of the Bush administration the economy was bleeding jobs at a horrendous rate. After Obama took charge and quickly passed the stimulus bill, the economy began improving, first by slowing the job losses, and a year later, by having the economy add jobs. The U.S. economy is like a battleship: it can't turn on a dime. Nevertheless, for people who still can't find work, graphs like this one are not much consolation.
Is it President Obama's fault that jobs are growing so slowly? Probably. Most economists felt that the stimulus bill was too small to have the effect required and urged Obama to make the total spending and tax cuts in it closer to $2 trillion. Obama did not want to go above $800 billion (it is now estimated to be $830 billion) to prevent the Republicans from attacking him for a "trillion-dollar boondoggle." Now he sees the folly of that position, but it is too late. While nobody expects politicians to take actions that are unpleasant now but will yield really good results in 50 years, at least thinking ahead to your next election would be useful some times.
In reality, much to the dismay of us political junkies, the period between Independence Day and Labor Day is fairly dead. People are more interested in hot dogs than in policy positions. Expect lots of stories like this one on cookiegate. Baring something fairly unusual, political news is not likely to have much impact until Aug. 27, when the Republican convention opens in Tampa, FL. Even then, because conventions have lost all their drama, they have little influence on the voters these days. The only surprise left is who Romney will choose as his running mate. But if it is Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), even that will not be much of a surprise, since it is so widely predicted.
The event that could really shake up the campaign is the first debate between Obama and Romney. There could be fireworks as Obama tries to label Romney an out-of-touch multimillionaire who only cares about lowering taxes for the rich and Romney tries to label Obama as a doomed President who has had four years to turn the economy around and failed miserably. Unlike Sarah Palin, who thought debate preparation was for wimps, both Obama and Romney are already preparing furiously. Obama is using Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) as "Romney," since Kerry is also from Massachusetts and knows Romney's positions and mannerisms well. Romney has now started preparing as well. For Romney, initial preparation is undoubtedly studying Obama's policy positions and finding ways to attack them as well as thinking of answers to anticipated questions like: "Please explain how Romneycare differs from Obamacare?" Romney is not using a standin for Obama yet in part because there is a scarcity of black Republicans who can imitate Obama well (as Kerry can imitate Romney) and in part because Romney feels more comfortable at his desk in front of a computer screen full of facts and data than play acting. But sooner or later, he is going to have to do it since he knows that Obama is a very experienced debater and public speaker.
New Jersey governor Chris Christie (R-NJ) finished off the job of eliminating himself as a possible vice presidential candidate yesterday by having a nasty exchange with a man who criticized his education policies. The last thing Romney wants in a running mate is a guy with an uncontrollable temper that gets him in the news all the time for exploding at people. Unlike John McCain, a former military jet pilot who was impulsive and took risks all the time, Romney wants total control of every situation he deals with and having a loose cannon like Christie on board the ship of state is just not going to happen.
|California||55%||37%||Jun 21||Jul 02||Field Poll|
Email a link to a friend or share:
Previous HeadlinesJul06 Competitive Senate Primaries Ahead
Jul06 It's All Over but the Shoutin'
Jul06 Who Cares?
Jul05 Scientists Sequence Fetal Genome from Maternal Blood
Jul05 DCCC Has Biggest Small Donor Fundraising Day in History
Jul05 Will the Republicans Be Able to Repeal Obamacare Even If They Win All the Marbles?
Jul04 Happy 236th Birthday America
Jul04 Half the Population Does Not Know Supreme Court Approved the ACA
Jul04 Congressional Mandates Go Back over 200 Years
Jul04 Vacation as Campaigning
Jul03 Roberts Reportedly Changed Sides after Oral Arguments
Jul03 Several States Have Already Rejected the Medicaid Expansion in the ACA
Jul03 Romney Says the ACA Penalty is not a Tax
Jul02 Which Party Is Best at Managing the Economy?
Jul02 Does a President's Religion Matter?
Jul02 Bain Ads Apparently Working
Jul01 Obama Gets a Boost from Supreme Court Ruling on the ACA
Jul01 Billionaires Are Starting to Fund Down-Ticket Races
Jul01 Was Roberts Sending a Dog Whistle to Congress: Save the Institution?
Jul01 Is Mexico Leading the Way in Polling?
Jun30 Americans Evenly Split on Supreme Court Decision on ACA
Jun30 A Rarely Mentioned Objection to the ACA
Jun30 Red States May Try to Bargain on Medicaid
Jun30 Difference Between ACA and Raich Explained
Jun29 Supreme Court Upholds Affordable care Act
Jun28 The Moment of Truth Has Arrived
Jun27 Wendy Long Wins New York Republican Senatorial Primary
Jun27 John Roberts' Big Moment?
Jun27 Speculation about Romney's Veep Choices
Jun27 Tipping Point Page Changed
Jun27 New Data Pages Available
Jun26 Supreme Court Strikes Down Part of the Arizona Immigration Law
Jun26 Supreme Court Says States May Not Ban Corporate Money from Campaigns
Jun26 Primaries Today in Five States
Jun25 Key Supreme Court Rulings Expected this Week
Jun25 On Social Issues, Voters Trust Obama More than Romney
Jun25 Charlie Cook Does Not Expect Another Wave Election
Jun25 A New Partisan Divide: Old vs. Young
Jun23 Bain Capital's Firms Outsourced Jobs Overseas
Jun23 Wealthy Democrats Not Donating to SuperPACs
Jun23 Obama's Latino Strategy is Working
Jun23 Only 34% of Americans Believe Obama is a Christian
Jun22 Romney Reverses Course on Immigration in Speech to Latino Officials
Jun22 Romney Sees Path to Victory Running Through the Midwest
Jun21 LeMieux Formally Ends Florida Senate Run
Jun20 Supreme Court to Rule on Whether States Can Stop Corporate Campaign Donations
Jun20 Democrats to Push DISCLOSE Act
Jun20 Interesting Analysis of the Political Effects of the ACA Ruling
Jun20 Schumer Plays Nice with Wall Street
Jun19 Obama's Decision on Immigration Popular with Likely Voters