The Washington Post

Disappointing business profits cast a chilly shadow on the Obama campaign

Just when President Obama didn't need more bad news, some lousy economic realities are casting a chilly shadow over his campaign. A slew of corporate earnings reports are suggesting slower growth at best and, at worst, are raising the fear of a new recession.

It is easy to say the Obama reelection campaign is disconnected from corporate earnings, given this administration's anti-business bias, but a rising stock market has been central to Obama's claim that things are getting better. If stronger earnings suggest something good about the economy, what do bad earnings suggest?

Even though few voters are directly affected in the short term, the chill sent by the news coverage is bad for the president's prospects. To get an idea of how bad it really is, read this piece by Doug Kass from Real Money.  

The worst thing about the disappointing earnings reports for the Obama campaign is that it focuses more voter attention on the economy when Obama would rather talk about anything but. This news makes it harder for him to hide from his record on jobs and the economy.

It is late in the campaign, and voters are rendering their final judgment on the incumbent. Obama is campaigning like he still wants to be compared to the vicious caricature of Mitt Romney that he tried to create but which Romney destroyed in the debates. The president needs to do a mea culpa on the economy and beg voters for mercy.

Ed Rogers is a contributor to the PostPartisan blog, a political consultant and a veteran of the White House and several national campaigns. He is the chairman of the lobbying and communications firm BGR Group, which he founded with former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour in 1991.


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