Obama Can’t Even Get Economic Messaging Right

Hey, when even Carrie Budoff Brown at The Politico can barely find words to support Mr. Obama, things are seriously in the dumps for Team Hopey Changey: President Obama struggles with economic message

President Barack Obama isn’t just grasping for ways to jolt the flailing economy.

He’s struggling simply to find the right words to talk about it.

You mean all the drinking a slurpee driving into a ditch blamestorming failed? All the “hey, Bush!” talked went nowhere? But, too be fair, Obama does have his “2.1 jobs saved/created” pitch down pat: he’s been using the same thing since 2009. One would think if his policies were so darned great, that number would grow at some point.

A growing number of Democratic strategists – including Obama senior campaign adviser David Axelrod – said the party needs to let go of George W. Bush and the past once and for all. Democrats now “own” the economy, says party chief Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

They can say that, but, they will never let go of acting like the kid in Family Circus who says “not me.”

With the past out of bounds, the present gloomy and the White House’s “winning the future” mantra judged by some as a bit too distant, Obama risks running out of time – and tenses – to craft a strategy that will woo back disaffected voters. It all adds up to a messaging minefield for Obama as it becomes increasingly likely that he could be the first president in more than six decades to seek reelection with an unemployment rate above 8 percent.

Above 8? We’ll be lucky if the unemployment rate drops that low before the election. Notice, though, that this is all about messaging, rather than actually Doing Something. The Great Keynesian Experiment has failed miserably, unless the idea was to reward Democrat supporters and dramatically increase the debt and deficit.

The biggest challenge for Obama might be this: There’s a very good chance he’ll never be able to state with certainty that the economy has truly recovered before voters go to the polls in 2012. If he can’t declare victory – only patchwork progress – that’s a lot less inspiring rallying cry in an election almost sure to turn on pocketbook issues.

He also has to navigate the stubborn gulf between the data and voter perceptions. The facts show the economy has added jobs for 15 straight months – not a bad streak. But compared with high gas prices, record-low housing values and the occasional uptick in the unemployment rate, it’s no wonder voters tell pollsters they’re sour on the economy – with four in five saying in a recent AP-GfK Poll that the economy is in poor shape.

Those applying for jobless benefits has also ticked up as of late. We have record numbers who have abandoned the job market. Small businesses are not being created like they once were. Food prices are going up. Banks aren’t willing to lend as much. It’s a bit more than a “stubborn gulf between the data and voter perception.” The economy is not exactly in great shape. GDP is down, and, like everything else, flatlining. No one except completely partisan hacks is buying into the “it could have been so much worse without the Stimulus” garbage point. Real people feel the pain.

But it seems no matter what he does or says, the drumbeat of bad economic data has made Obama an increasingly ripe target for his Republican challengers and Democrats nervous about their own political future.

That’s because it’s …..bad economic data (that’s funny, didn’t Carrie just try to infer that the data was better than voter perception?), and giving a speech doesn’t solve the issue. To be fair, Democrat policies didn’t, either.

The trouble with Obama is that he has no real experience in the private sector, so, he has no idea what private businesses are looking for the government to do, why they hire, and why they expand (or contract). He’s so beholden to certain private institutions, such as unions, that he will sacrifice all for them. He has surrounded himself with academics, again, with little real world experience, who know how the economy works on paper, and are always surprised when their classroom ideas never work. And, finally, Obama thinks he is the smartest guy in every room, and that his ideas should magically create jobs and economic success.

Oh, and that him speaking should be enough to satisfy everyone.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

Leave a Comment

Share this!

Enjoy reading? Share it with your friends!

Send this to a friend