The voters demand action on jobs, and on Thursday night, the incumbent president running amid the worst election-year labor market in modern American history responded with the following:
- A bloody evisceration of his opponent’s economic philosophy.
- A surprisingly detailed vision for incentivizing manufacturing and improving education and skills training.
- And still, nothing like a short-term jobs plan that 13 million unemployed Americans needed two years ago.
President Obama basically promised to continue the manufacturing job growth and export expansion that have proven to be two of the highlights of his economic record. What he didn’t offer was new fuel for the sluggish recovery, new hope that a great acceleration in job growth is finally around the corner. Mitt Romney didn’t offer any either when he accepted his party’s nomination—at least not anything tangible.
Friday morning’s jobs report only adds to the urgency. It shows that the economy added a tepid 96,000 jobs in August, and that hundreds of thousands of unemployed Americans have given up looking for work entirely.
As of July, the economists at the Hamilton Project projected that the U.S. economy was still 11.3 million jobs short of returning to prerecession employment levels. Even if we somehow started growing at the red-hot pace of the 1990s, that gap wouldn’t be closed until 2016.
We’d be awfully fortunate to find that high-growth gear with the policies offered in Obama's and Romney’s convention speeches. Instead, it looks possible that the next president will preside over what baseball teams call a “rebuilding year”—or maybe four. Read more
Romney: Jobs Report a ‘Hangover’
[National Journal, 9/7/12] Mitt Romney threw cold water on President Obama’s promise for improving the country’s future, calling Friday’s jobs report “the hangover” of Thursday’s Democratic National Convention. The U.S. economy added 96,000 jobs in July, and unemployment fell to 8.1 percent as hundreds of thousands of Americans gave up looking for work.
For Two Nevada Delegates, Jobless Reality Looms
[Washington Post, 9/6/12] Bob and Linda Cavazos, delegates from Nevada, stashed away money from Bob's $396 weekly unemployment checks so they could afford a trip to Charlotte that he called “a happy break from reality.” On Friday, Bob will fly back to a state with a 12.5 percent unemployment rate and continue looking for a job.
Obama Campaign Aides: No Expectation of a Convention Bounce
[National Journal, 9/7/12] Despite feeling positive about the Democratic National Convention, the Obama campaign has been quick to damper down expectations of a post-convention bounce in the polls. According to two polls released this week, Romney saw little movement following the Republican convention in Tampa last week.
Romney Camp Begins Ad Blitz in Eight States
[National Journal, 9/7/12] As the conventions drew to a close, Romney’s campaign began a new ad blitz on Friday, releasing 15 new television spots in eight states. The ads, titled “A Better Future” and focused on Obama’s economic record, are running in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, and Virginia.
Obama’s Convention Speech Sets Twitter Record
[International Business Times, 9/6/12] Obama’s speech was wildly popular on Twitter, eliciting 52,757 tweets per minute, which was a new Twitter record for politics. The overall tweets for the Democratic convention surpassed the 9.5 million mark, dwarfing the 4 million seen during the GOP convention.
Obama's Message Breaks Through in Swing-State Newspapers
[BuzzFeed, 9/7/12] Newspapers across several swing states highlighted Obama’s speech, concentrating on his “better path” message and not on the lukewarm reception from those in political media.
Kerry Speech a Possible Tryout for Job at State
[Associated Press, 9/6/12] Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts praised Obama’s foreign policy and dismissed Romney as “out of his depth” abroad in a speech that could double as the Democrat’s audition for secretary of State if Obama is reelected.
Giffords’s Pledge a Touching Moment Amid Partisan Jabs
[Roll Call, 9/6/12] Recovering former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’s appearance at the convention—and the audience’s excitement—marked one of the most sincere moments of the back-to-back party conventions.
A Tenuous Advantage for Obama
[National Journal, 9/6/12] Most analysts believe the race, heading into its final two months, will look almost exactly as it did before the conventions: Obama clinging to a small advantage but still standing below the critical 50 percent mark in support.
What’s New in Obama’s Second-Term Goals?
[National Journal, 9/6/12] NJ takes a look at Obama’s second-term goals. Among the landmarks: Create 1 million new manufacturing jobs by the end of 2016; cut the growth of college tuition in half over the next 10 years; and reduce the deficit by more than $4 trillion over the next decade.
Charlotte Versus Tampa: Well, How’d We Do?
[Charlotte Observer, 9/7/12] Critics aimed plenty of criticism Charlotte’s way this week: Excessive security, shoddy hotel rooms, obstructed views in the arena. But there were also positive reviews, especially from those who attended the GOP convention in Tampa.
Conventions Revive Climate-Change Debate
[National Journal, 9/6/12] Until now, Obama has left energy policy out of a campaign driven by the economy. But his Thursday night remarks on reducing carbon pollution could signal a new willingness to address a crucial public-policy issue.
Osama bin Laden Gets Heavy Emphasis in Convention’s Final Night
[The Hill, 9/6/12] The Democrats’ emphasis on Obama’s decision to order the raid against Osama bin Laden offers clear evidence that the party has decided they have a political winner on their hands. They hope highlighting the difficult choice to order the risky raid will consolidate Obama’s existing lead on national security over Romney.
Final Night: Fact Checking the Democratic Speakers
[National Journal, 9/6/12] NJ examined the speeches on the final night in Charlotte, and how firmly they were grounded in fact. The result: Obama overstated how much he would cut the deficit, and Vice President Joe Biden misled on Romney’s tax plan.
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