The speech is a microcosm of Mr. Obama’s bigger problems: He has already said everything that he can say. He has tried every strategy available to him; he has promised to cut the deficit in half; he has promised all sorts of new entitlements and payouts. Similarly, he has tried everything that he could try: He has tried Keynesian stimulus; he has tried health care reform; he has tried Wall Street Reform. He has shot all his arrows. In his defense, what was he supposed to say?
Even if, hypothetically, he made the speech of his life — a Gettysburg Address, for example — would that change anything? There are fewer Americans working than when Mr. Obama was inaugurated, and fewer than when the $800-billion Keynesian experiment was passed. Not even Bill Clinton could talk his way out of that one.
We also saw at the Democratic National Convention, in marked contrast to "hope and change," Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren repeating three times that "the game is rigged" against the working man. If so, then why are we bothering to listen to you? Let’s all just go home. Also, if this is so, are the Democratic prresident and Senate to blame? Why should we elect you to the Senate if your party already controls it and is doing, even in your estimation, a bad job? Mrs Warren’s defeatism has never been popular in American politics; we are, rightly or wrongly, an optimistic people.
As if a lousy convention were not enough, the jobs numbers came out Friday. They were bad, but certainly could have been worse. Unemployment fell by two tenths of a percent, from 8.3 percent to 8.1 percent, as 96,000 net jobs were created, and — much more importantly — 368,000 dropped out of the workforce altogether. Keep in mind that we need to create at least 125,000 jobs just to keep pace with population growth. I need a recovery from this recovery! Compare this to Ronald Reagan’s recovery, when the workforce actually grew!
Despite the dispiriting news that the workforce had (again!) shrunk, the hugely symbolic number of 8.3 percent dropped. If it ever drops below 8 percent before the election, even if it’s because of people leaving the workforce, the Obama administration will run with it. They have two more chances: The October jobs report comes out the Friday before the election.