Democrats Dodging the Big Question

by Ryan on September 3, 2012

in Economy,Election 2012,Politics

The big question any incumbent President needs to have the people answer if he seeks reelection is:  are you better off than you were four years ago?

In 2004 answering that question was complicated.  9/11 changed things, Bush kept us safe at home, and subsequently won that argument.

2012 yields a complicated answer too.  Are we better off than we were in September of 2008?  In some ways, yes.  In others we’re not.  The bleeding has stopped, but the wound is infected.  Facts and numbers become President Obama’s problem in answering that question.  When Obama took office (go to 1:47 for chart):

  • Unemployment was only 7.8% compared to today’s 8.3%
  • Median income was $54,983 versus today’s $50,964
  • Gas averaged $1.85 per gallon, not today’s $3.78
  • The national debt was an “unpatriotic” $10.6 trillion — this week it will hit $16 trillion.
  • The labor force participation rate has dropped by about 4.8 million though the potential labor force jumped 7.2 million since 2008.

PLUS… when running as the incumbent in this situation it is important that your surrogates at least be on the same page (preferably before an obvious high-level talking-to).  In politics, when you have to explain or qualify your answer you are on defense.  The President is distinctly on defense since an honest account of Obama’s record yields a troubling answer to the big question for Mr. Hopenchange.

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