Rich Galen

For a man or woman trying to decide whether to expand their small business and add a few employees in suburban Omaha, or rural Ohio, whether the mandate is a tax or a penalty is of absolutely no moment.

How much Obamacare will cost them - something they're probably still trying to determine - is all that matters.

An engineering shop in Omaha and a small manufacturer in Ohio will not alter the unemployment figures. But 10,000 small businesses deciding to hire two or three people will. And they're not going to do it because in small towns not hiring someone you're not certain you can keep on the payroll is far less painful than having to lay someone off after a few months.

This is pressing on the Obama campaign. The Romney campaign appears to be far out-raising Obama and not just in the SuperPAC column, but in the campaign and Republican National Committee column - those are the organizations one which limits remain and names are reported.

This tells us that the economy having a serious effect on enthusiasm for the Obama campaign especially among younger voters for whom finding a job has become a 50-50 proposition.

After 1,263 days of the Obama Administration Americans are weary of "Blame it on Bush" as an economic policy.

It is now very unlikely that the unemployment rate will drop below 8% before the November elections.

Whether the mandate is a tax or a penalty is a fun conversation to have on the set of CNN or MSNBC; but in Nebraska, Ohio, and the rest of the country, low job creation is raising the bar for an Obama re-election.

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