If not for the economy, President Obama would be the favorite (as is any incumbent) to win the presidential race. But that is a bit like saying, “Other than that Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?” But in fairness to Mary Todd Lincoln, she was in no way responsible for her husband’s death; Obama, the voters think, is responsible for some or many of our economic woes.
Obama and VP Joe Biden have often touted the “recovery.” Biden recently said the “middle class was back.” (Actually, Obama did nothing to stop the slide in income and wealth of the middle class.)
But again today we see how weak is the jobs market. Jobless claims were up to 372,000 last week, the second straight uptick and the highest it has been in a month. Claims for the week before were revised upward. And fearing the fiscal cliff, the stock market tumbled as well. The Dow Jones was down about 115 points, the largest drop in about a month.
In short, it is increasingly hard to convince Americans that we are heading in the right direction. More unemployed, stocks down and the prospect of 9 percent unemployment next year if Obama and Congress don’t eliminate the fiscal cliff. And while all this is going on, Obama still wants to raise taxes on upper income and small businesses. Other than pure class envy, and trying to whip up his base, there is no justification for raising taxes.
The election coverage has flitted from one topic to another. It is Bain and then it is tax returns and then it’s Todd Akin’s views on rape. Meanwhile, there must be some voters, hit hard by the economy, who look at all this and wonder whether the media and political class have lost it. In a way they have. As Jake Tapper and Chuck Todd recently conceded, the media focus on everything but the really big issue, the economy. You’d almost think they were giving the president a boost.