Unless the US economy markedly improves over the next eight months -- and muliple forecasts predict gloomy economic weather ahead -- President Obama may end up banging his head against a brick wall when it comes to re-election messaging. Here's how a Democratic pollster describes Team Obama's problem:
Democratic pollster Stanley Greenberg is out with a must-read polling memo this morning, which offers some eye-opening advice to President Obama and his re-election team. After testing several of the president's economic messages, he finds the argument that the economy is back on the right track polls miserably - and "produces disastrous results."
"It is weaker than even the weakest Republican message and is 10 points weaker in intensity than either Republican message," Greenberg wrote. "A third said this message made them less likely to support Barack Obama. Alarmingly, this message barely receives majority support among self-identified Democrats - and even less support among all other groups." The memo reads as a glaring wake-up call to the White House, which has been trumpeting improving economic figures lately.
Greenberg notes that voters are reporting "no improvement" in their job situation since last June, and have experienced reduced wages and benefits and health insurance coverage. The picture Greenberg's polling paints is an America public still deeply pessimistic about their future, and skeptical of Obama's handling of the economy.
Well, good thing the White House and Democrats in general haven't been harping on this "weaker than weak" theme for years!
“Slowly but surely we are moving in the right direction,” Obama said of the economy. “We’re on the right track.”
And while we're in flashback video mode, here are two Obama campaign ads from 2008 that exploited high gas prices for political gain -- a practice Obama is denouncing, now that it's being used against him. Turnabout, fair play, etc. (Via Ed Morrissey):
Katie posted on DWS' fuel cost demagoguery earlier. Then: It's Bush's fault! Now: It's not at all Obama's fault! And the media's playing right along, natch. Parting thoughts: (1) Shouldn't high energy costs touch off a big, happy celebration at the White House? Let's recall that candidate Obama promised his energy policy would make consumer costs "necessarily skyrocket," and suggested that gas prices should rise. It's for our own good, you see. Plus, Obama's Energy Secretary -- last seen denying and ducking all responsibilty for his half-billion-dollar Solyndra failure -- has stated that he'd like to see gas prices closer to $8.00 per gallon. Again, it's for our own good. (2) Say, wouldn't now be a good time to remind Americans about Obama's Keystone Pipeline decision? (3) Five dollar gasoline in Los Angeles -- the clip says it all.
UPDATE - Tapper strikes again:
UPDATE II - The Obama campaign is blaming...the Koch Brothers for high gas prices. How pathetic. Speaker Boehner's office has put together a useful infographic on the subject: