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Sunday, Oct. 26, 2014

One issue won't make campaign

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Granted, the 2012 presidential election is still far away. But in the political world, it might as well be tomorrow. It has not always been this way. But that was then, this is now.

I've noticed over the past week an intriguing story line being promoted exclusively by the Obama network - MSNBC.

The new narrative goes like this. Tingly Chris Matthews first opined last week that the election will hinge solely on the unemployment rate come November of 2012. According to the partisan world of Matthews, if the unemployment rate remains above 9 percent, Obama is out. If the jobless rate is under 9 percent, Obama wins. And if that magical and gloomy number falls in between, it's a horse race.

Three times by my count this week, various talking heads on the Obama network have promoted this narrow thinking. Call me paranoid. You probably wouldn't be the first.

If you spoon-feed a large segment of the American voting public, they will anxiously feed from the trough of media garbage. If over the next year, you adamantly promote the concept that the election will be a referendum on unemployment, then you miss a much larger picture.

For the Democrats, much of that wider panorama wouldn't necessarily be pretty.

Here's one starting point of some concern. The Bureau of Labor Statistics announces monthly the jobless rate in this great nation. And virtually without fail, those preliminary jobless numbers are nudged upward when the final tally is taken.

So come fall of 2012, rosy numbers are announced and according to the progressives, Obama is a shoo-in. Later they turn out to be less than rosy.

Notice that paranoia creeping in?

But the narrative also fails from the progressive standpoint on another aspect. With a strong majority in the House, it's doubtful if the administration can spend more taxpayer stimulus monies to form a temporary spike in the jobs market. And there will be no more census workers to nudge the numbers next year.

So the progressives may well be promoting an agenda they may come to regret.

But if - and it's a big if - the election next year is decided on the jobless numbers alone, that seems to omit larger picture items like the looming cost of Obamacare, the ongoing battles in the Mideast and the non-stop spending that Obama now promises to address.

It might also be appropriate to mention that the House GOP has some strong ethical and legal questions of this administration which will surely find some traction in the months ahead.

If this administration wants to bet the election outcome strictly on the issue of unemployment, they might have a tough sell. But right now, it might be the only card remaining in their deck.

Michael Jensen
Michael Jensen