In the immediate aftermath of the Washington Post story about a racial epithet marking a hunting camp owned by Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s family, his presidential campaign put out a statement insisting that “a number of claims made in the story are incorrect, inconsistent, and anonymous.”
And, when businessman Herman Cain denounced Perry as “plain insensitive” during appearances on the Sunday chat shows, the governor’s campaign quickly responded — arguing that “Mr. Cain is wrong about the Perry family’s quick action to eliminate the word on the rock, but is right the word written by others long ago is insensitive and offensive.”
President Obama spent the weekend on the West Coast delivering a forceful call-to-arms to his somewhat beleaguered base, a recognition that he must find ways to energize his core supporters with the 2012 election rapidly approaching.
“I have to make sure that our side is as passionate and as motivated and is working just as hard as the folks on the other side because this is a contest of value,” Obama said at a fundraiser in San Jose.
A look around the political landscape paints a grim picture for President Obama’s re-election prospects.
* The unemployment rate stood at 9.1 percent in August, nearly two points above the highest that number has ever been and seen an incumbent president win a second term. Even the most optimistic economic prognosticators acknowledge that the unemployment rate is unlikely to drop in a significant way prior to November 2012.
* Obama’s job approval rating in the latest Gallup weekly tracking poll stood at 40 percent; from July 20 through Sept. 20, Obama’s average job approval is 41 percent.
* Large majorities — 77 percent in the latest Washington Post/ABC News poll — say the country is headed off in the wrong direction.
* Matched against the two most likely Republican nominees — Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney — Obama usually finds himself in the mid-40s and in a statistical dead heat.
Numbers like that raise a basic question: Is Obama an underdog for re-election in 2012?
White House deputy communications director Jen Psaki is leaving the Obama Administration to take on a senior role at a well known Democratic communications and research firm, several sources confirmed this morning.
Psaki, who has spent the last four years on the Obama campaign and then in the White House, will be the senior vice president/managing director at Global Strategy Group.