Rich Galen
Two weeks ago the Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics dropped a bomb on the Presidential campaign of Barack Obama when it released data showing only 66,000 jobs had been created in May - far below estimates - and that the top-line unemployment rate rose from 8.1 to 8.2 percent.

This past Friday at a press conference, in response to a question about the GOP's contention that it is his Administration's policies that are strangling job growth, President Obama said, "the private sector is doing fine."

He went on to explain that the rise in unemployment is largely due to budget difficulties at the state and local government level because mayors and governors are not getting the "kind of support they need from the federal government."

The federal government needs to send money to states and cities so those governments can hire more people. People who may do important work, but create nothing.

A few short hours after Obama had essentially proclaimed the return of prosperity for private industry, was running a piece by Chris Burritt headlined, "CEOs Losing Optimism as Job Slowdown Imperils U.S. Growth."

To make his point, Burritt wrote:

"Albertsons grocery store chain said this week it will cut as many as 2,500 jobs. Hewlett-Packard has announced the biggest round of job cuts out of any U.S. company this year, at 27,000, according to data compiled by Bloomberg."

Even Obama's favorite CEO, Dan Akerson (who runs our national car company, GM) said

"When people have confidence that they'll have a job and that their homes are safe and whatnot, they tend to spend more and that tends to drive demand."

That "whatnot" was echoed by AT&T chairman Randall Stevenson of whom Burritt wrote:

The real driver is businesses "hiring and putting people on payroll," Stephenson said in a May 10 interview. "We're still not seeing that."

Which leads us to ask the question: What world was Obama describing?

On Sunday, David Axelrod who is the senior advisor to the Obama campaign was sent out to try and scrape up the mess. In more than two minutes of bobbing and weaving on Candy Crowley's CNN Sunday show he couldn't get himself to way whether or not the private sector is "doing fine."


It is a continuing irritant to me that the networks allow David Axelrod to have the same standing as one of the candidates for President or Vice President.

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at