The August jobs numbers are out, and the numbers are not good. The unemployment rate is slightly down, only because, devastatingly, 368,000 people dropped out of the civilian labor force last month. When four times more people drop out of the workforce than can find a job, it’s obvious that the economy is not recovering. The labor force participation rate, at 63.5 percent, is the lowest it has been in more than thirty years. Thirty years!! The 96,000 jobs that were added were even lower than the 125,000 that was predicted, and it’s our 43rd straight month of unemployment over 8 percent. It’s unprecedented, and politically crippling.
If you are currently unemployed or if a family member is unemployed, or if you are worried about the security of your job, what did the president say last night in Charlotte that convinced you that he had a plan to create good, secure jobs? There was more talk in Charlotte about what President Obama and the Democrats would give you after you lost your job than there was about how they would create jobs. Voters will notice. Was this an oversight, a political blunder, or is the Obama team bowing to the inevitable, since they had an advance look before the speech at the job numbers announced this morning? They are not credible talking about job growth, and the more they talk about it, the more voters realize we need a change.
From a campaign standpoint, what should Obama do? He and his campaign team will relentlessly personally attack Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, because they have no other option. Obama has shown his modus operandi. He is a failure on the economy. The economy is not getting better, it’s getting worse. We are headed toward another recession, and Obama doesn’t have a plan to stop it from happening.
The president's speech was not as good as I had expected. It had some good lines and a moving close, but those were just sugar cubes that are already forgotten. The president gave no better than the fourth-best speech in Charlotte. The fact that he didn't pull a rabbit out of his hat makes me think he has exhausted and used everything he has to say. From now until Election Day, he will only have new attack lines against Mitt Romney, not new ideas. Given the surreal attacks that he has already used, this election could surpass mean and descend into a new realm of weirdness. Look for a withering attack on Mormonism, among other attacks.
Using the killing of Osama bin Laden as an example of a personal achievement was clumsy, and Obama and Joe Biden have now overdone it. The uniformed military will resent it and that resentment will begin to show itself more frequently. And politically, it is so unnecessary and unwise to hot-dog this. Why not instead use it as a way to talk more to troops, to have veterans appear on stage and give their testimonials about the president's leadership? Instead, Obama and the Democrats have selfishly overreached in a way that will breed resentment in the military, and we can expect some of our soldiers to say so. This isn't just bad political judgment, it says something about the president's ego.
The conventions are over, the jobless numbers are in, it’s less than nine weeks until the election, and for the first time since the campaign really began over a year ago, I believe it is advantage Mitt Romney.