Donald Lambro

President Obama was back on his bus this week, promoting yet another job bill in the diminishing hope that it might help him hang on to his own.

Just days after the Democratic-controlled Senate failed to muster enough support just to make his bill the pending business, he was venting in North Carolina, threatening Republicans and blaming Wall Street again for America's unending recession for which he accepts no responsibility.

Conveniently ignoring that two Senate Democrats voted against his tax and spend bill last week, while others held their nose and voted aye, Obama said Republicans would pay a very heavy price for voting to kill his proposal.

"If they vote against these proposals again, if they vote against taking steps now to put Americans back to work right now, then they're not going to have to answer to me, they're going to have to answer to you," the president said at a campaign rally Monday.

But Obama's third or fourth jobs bill may be a hard, if not downright impossible sell in North Carolina, a state he barely carried by the skin of his teeth in 2008 by less than 1 percentage point and where unemployment has surged to a hope-crushing 10.4 percent under his presidency.

Obama wasn't here, though, to win over new voters to his banner but to appeal anew to a wavering political base, especially dispirited black voters

In the Tar Heel state, where Democrats will converge next year to dutifully renominate him for a second term, "Obama's most ardent supporters in Durham's black community worry that waning enthusiasm among African-Americans may prevent him from repeating his razor-thin North Carolina victory of 20008," writes Boston Globe reporter Tracy Jan.

Jan quotes an unemployed, 52-year-old black woman standing in line at the employment office, saying she "can't muster the will to support Obama for a second term."

"I don't see what he's done. I'm not even going to waste my time and vote," this Democrat said.

In Durham County, where the president spoke, nearly 20 percent of its black voters are jobless and Obama's job approval rating has dropped, even among this most loyal constituency who have suffered under his rule more than any other segment of the state's electorate.

Nationally, black unemployment has surged to 16.7 percent, the highest since 1984, and a front page story in Tuesday's Washington Post is ominously titled, "Can Obama hold on to black voters in 2012?"


Donald Lambro

Donald Lambro is chief political correspondent for The Washington Times.