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Posted at 03:18 PM ET, 09/06/2012

To Republican cheers, Obama doubles down on ‘you didn’t build that’

Nothing about the Democratic National Convention is helping President Obama with his number one problem — that is, only a small number of people think he is doing a good job of handling the economy.  In a Gallup poll from August 9-12, only 36 percent of Americans approved of the way President Obama is handling the economy, with 60 percent expressing disapproval.   

Even now, incredibly, Obama is doubling down on his indictable “you didn’t build that” comment. On Tuesday, he told a reporter in Norfolk that he regretted the “syntax” but not what he said.  Just as I thought the point may be getting stale, Obama tells us that he really meant it. 

So far, the only two big positives of the Democratic convention in Charlotte have been speeches by Michelle Obama and former President Bill Clinton. Michelle Obama suffers the risk of being discounted because she is the candidate’s wife.  She was great, but she doesn’t give Obama credibility on economic issues. 

And Bill Clinton was very good, but he is sui generis. People have learned to love him despite some baggage. Clinton’s popularity doesn’t appear to have rubbed off on Obama so far, and there is nothing to suggest that it will. 

The rest of the convention has either been negatives — like the God and Jerusalem debacle — or a bunch of stray cats and dogs. There is no case to be made that the convention has helped convince people that Obama really is an effective steward of the economy. 

The campaign has indicated that Obama’s speech tonight will reveal new ideas for moving the economy forward.  This could be a smart move, because following Mitt Romney’s speech, the press complained that Romney didn’t present enough concrete ideas. If the media is cooperating and looking to help Obama, they will seize on Obama’s new initiatives — or even just the fact that he has proposed them. 

But it’s been four years. Where has Obama been??  It’s a little late to say that he has ideas to help our economy. Obama’s problem is still the economy, and the convention hasn’t done anything to help him prove that he can move it forward or make it better. And nothing about the convention has helped him overcome his anti-business, soft-on-capitalism image. 

By  |  03:18 PM ET, 09/06/2012

 
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